Christine introduced me to the indigenous flower called Babiana last year, but it never flowered because the chickens scratched it up a few times. Now that the garden is protected from the roaming marauders, I have had the pleasure of watching the Babiana grow and flower. I was so excited to see these in my new corner of the back garden.
Babiana is a genus of flowering plants in the family Iridaceae composed of about 80 species. Most of these species (about 49) are found in the southwestern Cape of Africa, with the remainder distributed in Namaqualand and Northern Cape Province. The native range of the genus is from southern Namibia to the Eastern Cape to southern Zimbabwe, with one species from Socotra off the coast of Somalia (although this may not be a species of Babiana). The genus name is derived from the Dutch word baviaan, referring to the African monkey that consumes the corms of plants in the genus.(Ref: Wikipaedia)
After doing this research, it was interesting to find so many different species.
To my excitement, I found a new Babiana at a local market.
This is a Babiana ringens – “Rat’s Tail Babiana”
Native to the Fynbos of South Africa, this unusually showy plant bears its bright red, tubular flowers on side branches close to the ground. The main stalk is sterile & the foliage is long and erect. One of the hardiest bulbs of the cape, it grows naturally in sandy soil. The Sunbird loves this flower and will find it under the most secluded rocks.