Also known as
Poison Bulb, Tumbleweed, Sore-Eye Flower, Seeroogblom, Gifbol, Kopseerblom, Boesmangif, Perdespook (Afr.), Kxutsana-yanaha, Motlatsisa (Sothern Sotho), Incumbe, Siphahluka (Swazi), Incotho (Xhosa), Incwadi (Zulu), Ibhade (Zulu)
Boophone disticha, habitus, Skeerpoort, a by JMK (CC BY-SA 3.0)
This plant has a mild fragrance
More images of Century Plant
Century Plant Overview
Also known as Century plant, this large bulbous species can grow for over 100 years. Originating from South Africa, it is well known for its poisonous bulb and unique leaves arranged in a fan shape. This species only produces one scented inflorescence and flowering is completed before seasonal leaf production. After flowering, to distribute seeds and reproduce, the fruiting heads stiffen and elongate around 30cm. Then the fruiting head will separate from the flowering stalk, where it is carried by light breezes, scatters seeds as it moves. It may take up to 15 years to reach maturity, but this plant is capable of lasting over 100 years and could outlive most humans! ZA Distribution: Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Western Cape.
Common problems with Century Plant
How to propagate Century Plant
In nature, the dried out flowers release seeds, and so it propagates. If planting a bulb ensure that at least two-thirds of the bulb is above the ground.
Special features of Century Plant
Attracts useful insects
Bees and flies.
Other uses of Century Plant
The Century plant is used in traditional medicine to cure a number of ailments. It may be applied to boils and abscesses, it may be used to alleviate pain, treat insomnia and headaches amongst others.