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Brunsvigia bosmaniae

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Monocotyledons > Order: Asparagales > Family: Amaryllidaceae > Genus: Brunsvigia

Brunsvigia elandsmontana

Brunsvigia bosmaniae, flowering en masse after good autumn rains on the Knersvlakte, Namaqualand, Northern Cape, South Africa. [photo Colin Paterson-Jones ]

Brunsvigia elandsmontana

Brunsvigia bosmaniae, flowering on the Knersvlakte with autumn rain on the Bokkeveld Escarpment, Namaqualand, Northern Cape, South Africa. [photo Colin Paterson-Jones ]

Brunsvigia elandsmontana Brunsvigia elandsmontana

Brunsvigia bosmaniae, flowering in autumn on the Bokkeveld Escarpment, Northern Cape, South Africa. [photo Colin Paterson-Jones ]

Brunsvigia bosmaniae, flowering en masse after good autumn rains on the Knersvlakte, Namaqualand, Northern Cape, South Africa. [photo Colin Paterson-Jones ]

Distribution and habitat

Occurs in Namaqualand and the Western Karoo with the distribution extending as far south as Tygerberg (near Cape Town). Thus the distribution includes parts of the Northern Cape and Western Cape in South Africa. Grows in sand or clay as well as in granite-derived soils (Goldblatt and Manning 2000).

Life cycle

  • Bulbs are 5-10 cm in diameter.
  • There are 5-6 leaves, pressed to the ground. The leaves are absent at the time of flowering.
  • Flowers in autumn, from March to May.
  • The flowers grow in a large, round umbel and have the scent of narcissus.
  • Flowers are pollinated by noctuid moths (see image below).
  • The seeds develop in three-angled capsules. Seed dispersal is by wind: the ball-like umbel dries out, it is broken off by the wind at the base of the scape (the stem of the flower head) and the wind rolls it along the ground, with seeds becoming dislodged from the capsules and falling to the ground.
  • As flowers come out in Autumn, and this plant grows in a winter rainfall region, by the time seed dispersal occurs it is winter time and there is usually some moisture in the soil, or rainfall is imminent, and thus the seeds are able to germinate.

Ecological interactions

Brunsvigia bosmaniae  
The African Boll Worm moth (Helicoverpa armigera), visiting flowers of Brunsvigia bosmaniae. Bokkeveld Escarpment, Northern Cape, South Africa. [photo Colin Paterson-Jones ]  

Flowers are pollinated by:

  • Insects > Lepidoptera > Noctuidae (noctuid moths)
    • Helicoverpa armigera (African boll worm moth)

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