Prototulbaghia siebertii

The rootstock is a small 20-25 mm long, elongated shaped bulb which is winter dormant.
In Spring 3-6 glossy 1 mm wide dark-green leaves emerge which have a distinct acute hooked tip.

The 9 mm scapes are glossy dark-green suffused burgundy on surfaces that receive direct sunlight, and support umbels of upward facing white flowers which are tinged pink on the keel of the outer segment and have prominent bright-yellow anthers.

Opening in succession, the individual flowers only last a day or so, opening late morning in bright sunlight and closing by mid-late afternoon/early evening.

In bloom they never seem to appear to open fully.
The outer segments open outward while the inner perianth segments remain somewhat vertical or only flaring outwards a little.

As the flowers fade they become suffused with pink to magenta.

The dark green seed capsules are triangular, and retain the dried magenta perianth segments at the base and the withered style on the top.

In cultivated plants, the flowering season appears to last all summer, with always one or two flowers open, the rest of the spent flowers adding a magenta splash of colour to the display.

Of interest on a few of my plants the scapes are barbed.

I am greatly indebted to Charles Craib, for the gift of these intriguing, important little bulbs to the Tulbaghia Collection. Many, many thanks!

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