Bowiea volubilis

Bowiea volubilis

Common Names

Bowiea (english)
Knolklimop (afrikaans)
iguleni (zulu)
umgaqana (xhosa)


Genus Bowiea
Species volubilis
SA Plant Number
Basionym Bowiea volubilis


Bowiea volubilis is a hardy, deciduous, bulbous plant that has two thin, strap-like leaves.

It climbs by means of its large much-branched inflorescence, the branchlets of which grow downwards. Photosynthesis is also carried out by this flowering stem.

It bears tiny greenish-white flowers along the downward growing blanchlets from September to April. With its large bulb it makes an interesting ornamental container plant and looks great if planted at the base of trees and the flowering stem is encouraged to twine around the stem.

This bulb is becoming extremely rare in the wild as it is extensively used as a muthi plant and is thus much in need of protection.

Plant in semi-shade or shade in compost rich soil.

It also tolerates both dry and quite wet conditions.

Size up to 3m




Limpopo, Gauteng, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu Natal,  Free State, Eastern Cape

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