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A picture of a Baboon Flower

Baboon Flower

Babiana nervosa

Also known as

Babiana, Blue Freesia, Baboon Root, Stompstertbobbejaantjie (Afr.)

Madeira, Palheiro Gardens - Babiana stricta IMG 2253 by Hedwig Storch (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Full Sun
Easy care
Light watering


USDA zone


Minimum temperature

Expected size









  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has a mild fragrance

Baboon Flower Overview

Babiana nervosa is known as Baboon Flower as it is believed that baboons dig up the bulbs to eat them. The brightly coloured, cup-shaped flowers of this species have a scent that is reminiscent of frangipanis. It is a wonderful addition to any rockery or water-wise garden as it requires little watering. It prefers well-drained, sandy soils.

Common problems with Baboon Flower

Generally not affected by pests, but it tends to be susceptible to Fusaruim fungus if planted in poor-draining soil.

    How to harvest Baboon Flower

    This species isn't the ideal cut-flower as a single flower only lasts a day, but the flower-stalk can continue flowering once picked, but for only a day or two depending on postharvest treatments. Bulbs must be lifted and stored with shredded newspaper or wood shavings in areas that receive frost.

    How to propagate Baboon Flower


    Baby cormlets can be broken off the base of large corms during dormancy. These should be planted in well-drained soil with the tip of the corm just below the soil surface.


    Sow seeds in well-draining sand soil - keep moist until germinated!

    Special features of Baboon Flower

    Attracts useful insects

    Bees and butterflies are attracted by the nectar that is produced by the flowers.

    Drought resistant

    This is a water-wise species as it becomes dormant during dry periods and it only actively grows after the first winter rains have fallen.

    Pot plant

    This is a great bulb species to plant in containers, but must be planted with other evergreen plants or bulbs as the plant dies back during the summer.

    Other uses of Baboon Flower

    Grown for its brightly coloured flowers rather like freesias.

    Rock Garden | Area Specific

    A photo of Yarrow


    Achillea spp.

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