Habitat: South and East Africa, Yemen and Madagascar. Many of the species are endemic to South Africa.
Cultivation: Full exposure to sunlight, avoid humid cold weather, careful with watering and substrate well-draining.
Curiosity: Its name comes from the Greek words “Trachy”, which means “rough”, and “Andro”, which means “male”: it refers to the rough filaments of the stamens of their flowers.
Trachyandra is a genus of succulent plants belonging to the Asphodelaceae family.
These plants are native to South and East Africa, Yemen and Madagascar. Many of the species are endemic to South Africa.
The genus contains about 72 herbaceous and bulbous species, also very different from each other. Its name comes from the Greek words “Trachy”, which means “rough”, and “Andro”, which means “male”: it refers to the rough filaments of the stamens of their flowers. The stamens, in fact, are the male organs of the flowers, where pollen is produced.
The Trachyandra are usually not very tall herbaceous plants, with linear and filiform leaves, except in T. tortilis, where the spindle-shaped, succulent, cylindrical or flattened, curl into beautiful doodles that make this species the most popular of the whole genus, in the world of ornamental gardening.
The flowers are usually white or pale pink, with a dark central stripe that longitudinally divides the petals in two, and carried by a long stem, often taller than the entire plant, in a terminal bunch sometimes very compact.
VARIETY AND TYPES
Not many Trachyandra are cultivated: Here are a few of them.
- Trachyandra saltii
- Trachyandra tortilis
- Trachyandra divaricata
TIPS FOR GROWING
Not many Trachyandra are cultivated: some, such as T. divaricata, are even weeds, in their habitats! The most famous is undoubtedly, as already mentioned, T. tortilis, which is highly appreciated for its succulent curled stems. Mainly to this species we refer our cultivation tips: you can apply them to all Trachyandra in reality, although it is unlikely that you will find species other than tortilis on the market:
- Trachyandras should be placed in a bright position;
- Trachyandras do not like cold and humid weather. They tolerate a minimum temperature of 5ºC;
- During the summer it should be watered regularly: in winter, watering should be suspended;
- Don’t water it too much: always wait for the soil to dry before each watering.
The propagation is done by cutting. Choose the most likely curly stem, leave it in the air for a few days to dry out a bit, then plant it in a well-drained and very nutritious soil, which has to be kept moist until the cuttings emit new roots.