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Origin and Habitat: Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Republic of South Africa
Description: Drimia ciliata (syn: Urginea ciliata) is a small, perennial geophytic herb with pendulous flowers that grows a bulb. The flat leaves are neatly spread out on the ground in winter, and bear cilia (eyelashes) on the edges, hence the speciefic name. During spring the plants lose their leaves and the flowering time is summer (in habitat January to February). Plants often flower few and far between.
Bulb: 2–2.5 long and in diameter.
Leaves: Up to ten, neatly spreading out on the ground (prostrate), 8-30 mm long and 3-19 mm wide, ovate, ovate-elliptical oblong-spathulate, subacute, firm, leathery, dark glossy green, with smooth surface flat or slightly convex when sprouting overlapping at the base densely, with a thickened, straight, margin ciliated with dense, persistent, short, spreading bristles, withered at flowering time.
Inflorescence: Peduncle slender, terete, 4-14(-20) cm long. Raceme (fertile part) oblong, lax, 2-6(-8) cm long, less than 2.5 cm in diameter bearig 10-15 flowers. Pedicels ascending, (4-)6-8(-14) mm long, pendulous at the apex; bracts deltoid, very minute. Pedicels and stem reddish-brown, glossy.
Flowers. Nodding at the anthesis, 5–6 mm long, 1.9–2.6 mm broad. Perianth about 3 mm long; segments oblong, translucent white with a light brown to purple keel, inner ones patent, outers slightly reflexed; filaments short, filiform.
Fruits: Capsules 3–7 mm long, 2.5–5 mm across, valves splitting completely from apex to base.
Seeds: About 2.-2.5 mm long and 2 mm wide.
Taxonomic note: This species was never treated in Drimia by Baker and the correct combination was made by J.C. Manning & Goldblatt in Bothalia 33: 111 (2003).
Major references and further lectures
1) J. G. Baker, "Flora Capensis", 1897
2) Klopper, R.R. & Victor, J.E. 2005. Drimia ciliata (L.f.) J.C.Manning & Goldblatt. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2017.1. Accessed on 2017/11/05
3) Desert Plants Wild Flowers, "Drimia ciliata", web http://soilandroots.com/desert-plants/Drimia/ciliata/drimia-ciliata.html. Accessed on 2017/11/05
4) Mario Martınez-Azorın, Manuel B. Crespo, and Anthony P. Dold, "Drimia cochlearis (Hyacinthaceae), a New Species from South Africa", Systematic Botany (2013), 38(2): pp. 332–338
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