ISI 2020-11. Albuca abyssinica Jacq

The ISI has offered several Albuca species in recent years. These have tended to be dwarf species from Namaqualand, winter growers corresponding to the predominantly winter rainfall experienced in that part of South Africa. As one travels north to Namibia and Angola beyond, that rainfall pattern shifts N of the Tropic of Capricorn to a predominantly summer monsoonal regime. Therefore, Albuca abyssinica, from tropical Africa to Arabia, is a summer grower. However, in mild conditions it can stay in leaf year-round. Like other albucas it forms a bulb that can go deciduous during a dry winter dormancy. Unlike the dwarf Namaqualand species, this one is a bit of a monster, forming fist-sized or larger bulbs and, given ample water, lush strappy leaves to a meter long. Inflorescences to nearly twice that tall feature abundant yellow and green-striped flowers with a sweet, anise-like scent. We offer plants from self-set seed of HBG 90020, plants from Kelly Griffin as A. angolensis, a synonym, in 2003. $8.

Photo © 2020 by Karen Zimmerman. Images may not be used elsewhere without permission.

Published in the Cactus and Succulent Journal, Vol. 92 (2), Summer 2020