Bowiea volubilis


Ophiobostryx volubilis
Schizobasopsis volubilis


Bowiea volubilis is native from Namaqualand, a region between Namibia and South Africa, but is widespread in most of Tropical Africa, until northern Tanzania. In its natural habitat, it grows often hidden between the rocks, partially exposed to sunlight.


Bowiea volubilis is a succulent plant composed of a big, globose, green bulb from which, every year, a green thin branched stem. The bulb is covered by the filamentous branches are able to wrap around any support. Flowers are insignificant, small, green, and they develop from the top of the branches between January and February in its natural habitat and in summer in Northern Hemisphere. This plant hasn’t got leaves! The photosyntesis and all other leaves functions are performed by the stems. The growth season is in winter. During the summer, Bowiea volubibilis goes through a vegetative rest period.


Bowiea Volubilis can stand a minimum winter temperature of 13ยบC, so it’s easier to keep it indoors in a pot to control better the temperature variation.
It prefers a bright spot but it’s better not to put it under direct sunlight. The ideal substrate should be a mix of sand, soil from decomposition of mature leaves, old fertilized soil in equal parts, and it should be always well-drained. The bulb shouldn’t be completely covered of soil: at least half of it should come out from the ground. Watering is regular during the winter, having also the additional purpose of increasing the environmental humidity against the attack of ladybugs, and should be reduced gradually in summer, until the stems dry up, when watering is completely suspended for a period.


Propagation is made through seeds or by taking off the little bulbs which sometimes form at the base of the main one.


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