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A flamboyant little "bulb" for Mediterranean- and desert-climate gardens, Babiana rubrocyanea is grown for its late-winter and early-spring display of large, deep-blue, red-eyed blooms. It is native to sandy scrubland habitats in the Southwest Cape region of South Africa.
This member of the iris family produces low fans of hairy, pleated, sword-shaped leaves. They arise in late fall or winter from rounded, deeply buried corms with fibrous "tunics." The unscented, 2-inch-wide, bowl-shaped blooms are borne in compact, few-flowered spikes. Each bloom is blue to violet-blue with a large, iridescent, currant-red eye. The flowers are followed by small rounded seed capsules. Plants may self-sow in favorable climates.
Babiana are delightful little garden "bulbs" for regions that have dry summers and mild, relatively moist winters. They tolerate desert conditions but do poorly in hot humid climates. Plants perform best in ample sunlight and well-drained, moisture-retentive soil. In areas with cold winters, the corms can be dug in fall and replanted in spring for late spring or summer bloom). Spring bulb catalogs sometimes offer corms of Babiana for planting as summer-blooming annuals.
9 - 1
4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Bulb or Corm or Tuber
2"-6" / 5.1cm - 15.2cm
3"-4" / 7.6cm - 10.2cm
Early Spring, Late Winter
Drought Tolerant, Average Water
Green, Light Green
Container, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall
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