Lachenalia framesii


Family: Hyacinthaceae
Common names:
viooltjie (Afrikaans)


This attractive Lachenalia has beautiful yellow-green flowers and can be found in flat, sandy areas in Namaqualand .

Lachenalia framesii is a small, perennial geophyte (growing up to 15 cm) which produces one or two green leaves (7.5 10 cm long). The upper leaf surface is smooth and without any purple markings. The leaf can be channelled and the margins are usually, but not always, undulated. The peduncle is slender and carries sessile lime green flowers with magenta protruding inner segments (see L. valeriae ). The stamens are shorter than the perianth and the seeds are small, matt and black. The plants usually flower between July and August.

Distribution and habitat
Lachenalia framesii is endemic to the Northern and Western Cape ( South Africa ) and is only found in the Succulent Karoo Biome. It occurs in large colonies in gravelly sand and its distribution range stretches from Komaggas in the north to Vanrhynsdorp in the south. It is often associated with quartz patches on coastal plains.

Derivation of name and historical aspects
The Genus Lachenalia was named after Werner de Lachnenal, a professor from Basel, Switzerland; framesii named after Mr P. Ross-Frames, a collector of succulent plants who re-discovered this species in 1928 about 20 miles north of Vanrhynsdorp.

Uses and cultural aspects
Almost all Lachenalia species can be successfully grown in containers and some species can even be planted in gardens.

Growing Lachenalia framesii

Lachenalia framesii is floriferous and one of the best species to cultivate in containers.

Lachenalias in general are frost-sensitive and prefer sunny, airy spots and excellent drainage (preferably sand). Plant the bulbs in autumn (March to April) and water well once every fortnight. At the end of spring, the yellowing of the leaves will indicate the beginning of the dormant period and watering should be withheld completely. Containers should now be stored in a cool, dry place till the next autumn.

Lachenalias can also be grown from seed as seed germinates readily; as well as from leaf cuttings. No special feeding is necessary.

References and further reading

  • Barker, W. 1931. Lachenalia undulata . Flowering Plants of South Africa . Vol. XI: t. 431.
  • Duncan, G.D. 1988. The Lachenalia Handbook. Annals of Kirstenbosch Botanic Gardens . Vol. 17: 15 28.
  • Leistner, O.A. (ed.). 2000. Seeds plants of southern Africa : families and genera. Strelitzia 10. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria .
  • Smith , C.A. 1966. Common names of South African plants. Memoirs of the Botanical Survey of South Africa No. 35.



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Pretoria National Herbarium
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To find out if SANBI has seed of this or other SA species, please email our seedroom.


This page forms part of the South African National Biodiversity Institute's plant information website