Candelabra Flower

© Roger de la Harpe
Candelabra Flower.

Name

Candelabra Flower (Brunsvigia natalensis­)

Description

The candelabra flower sprouts from a huge bulb about 200mm in diameter covered in thin brown skin-like scales. A perennial herb, the plant grows up to 500mm high bearing a single bright spherical flower head (about 300mm wide) consisting of trumpet-like flowers. Between two to six broad tongue-like leaves spread flat on the ground appear in the South African winter, after the flowering season.

The best time to see the candelabra flower is between November and January.

Habitat

Not common, Brunsvigia natalensis­ grows in open grasslands in the lower Lowveld and Limpopo Province of South Africa.

Seed

The spherical fruit will mature and germinate on the mother plant and is distributed by the wind.

Fruit

During ripening, the round fruit’s stem will dry causing the fruit to drop from the plant. The wind will carry it away, the fruit spreading its seeds as it bursts open.

Field Notes

Brunsvigia natalensis­ is commonly mistaken for Brunsvigia radulosa while some botanists believe they are subspecies.