Eleutherine bulbosa (Mill.) Urb.

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Eleutherine bulbosa

Protea Hill Farm, cultivated ex Salujinga
Nov 2009
Photo: Mike Bingham

Eleutherine bulbosa

Protea Hill Farm, cultivated ex Salujinga
Oct 2008
Photo: Mike Bingham

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Synonyms: Eleutherine plicata (Sw.) Klatt
Eleuthrine bulbosa (Mill.) Urb.
Sisyrinchium bulbosum Mill.
Sisyrinchium palmifolium L.
Common names:
Status: Introduced, cultivated and escaped from cultivation
Bulbs ovoid, 3 cm or more in diameter, the tunics firm, red-brown. Basal leaves 1-2, linear-lanceolate, 15-40 cm long, 1-3.5 cm wide, plicate. Scape 10-30 cm high, not winged, usually bearing a single 6-12-flowered spathe, this subtended by a leaf similar to the basal ones. Spathes about 1.5 cm long, the flowers slender- pedicellate. Perianth white, 2-2.5 cm broad, the segments obovate, spreading. Capsule about 2 cm long.
Type location:
Notes: At the Mangango Mission the plants had been planted to mark the white lines in the football field. The surprising records from Salujinga and Ntumbachusi are escapes from cultivation, no doubt from D.R. Congo, where the plant is cultivated for medicinal use. Plants escaped from cultivation were recorded from KwaZulu-Natal in 1877 (APD).
Reference: Goldblatt, Peter, personal communication
Derivation of specific name: bulbosa: possessing bulbs; bulbous.
Altitude range:
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: West Indies, South America, naturalized in D.R. Congo, South Africa, Réunion, and Asia.
Zambian distribution (Flora Zambesiaca): B,W,C
Zambian distribution (Provinces): Nw,Lp,Lk,W
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Monday 28 November 2016

Standley, P.C. & Steyermark, J.A. (1952). Flora of Guatemala Chicago Natural History Museum Pages 162 - 163.

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Flora of Mozambique: Eleutherine bulbosa
Flora of Mozambique: cultivated Eleutherine bulbosa
Flora of Zambia: cultivated Eleutherine bulbosa

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Eleutherine bulbosa
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Eleutherine bulbosa
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Eleutherine bulbosa
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Eleutherine bulbosa
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Eleutherine bulbosa
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Eleutherine bulbosa
JSTOR Plant Science: Eleutherine bulbosa
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Eleutherine bulbosa
Plants of the World Online: Eleutherine bulbosa
Tropicos: Eleutherine bulbosa
Wikipedia: Eleutherine bulbosa

Copyright: Mike Bingham, Annette Willemen, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Mark Hyde, 2011-24

Bingham, M.G., Willemen, A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. and Hyde, M.A. (2024). Flora of Zambia: Species information: Eleutherine bulbosa.
https://www.zambiaflora.com/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=218140, retrieved 2 March 2024

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