Boophane disticha

Boophane disticha

Common Names

Gifbol, seeroogblom, kopseerblom, boesmangif, perdespook (afrikaans)
Fan-leaved Boophone, century plant, poison bulb, sore-eye flower (english)
Leshoma, kxutsana-yanaha, motlatsisa (sesotho)
Incumbe (swazi)
incotho, incwadi (xhosa)
ibhade, incotho, incwadi (zulu)


Genus Boophane
Species disticha
SA Plant Number
Basionym Boophane disticha


Boophane disticha is a very, hardy, deciduous plant with a huge bulb.  In warm areas the bulb is held above the soil while in colder areas it is kept below ground level as a protection against frost.

The grey-leaves are held in a twisted fan shape and are most attractive. (the species name disticha means in 2 rows, referring to the leaves).

The large deep pink to red flower head appears in early spring before the leaves. Fire induces this plant to flower. Once the flowers have been pollinated each flower stalk elongates and carries the seed on the end to form a tumbleweed.  This is the plants strategy for distributing its seeds.

Plant in full sun or semi-shade with an exposed bulb.

Extensively used in traditional medicine but with caution as it is poisonous.

Size 45cm




Limpopo, North West Province, Gauteng, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu Natal, Free State, Northern Cape, Eastern Cape, Western Cape

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