Calling all writers, especially those who wax poetic! If you have a way with words, here's your chance to put pen to paper and try your hand at writing an award-winning piece for us. Find all the details on our contest page.

Cape Cowslip

Lachenalia aloides

Family: Hyacinthaceae
Genus: Lachenalia (lak-en-AH-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: aloides (al-OH-id-eez) (Info)
Synonym:Lachenalia aloides var. aloides
Synonym:Lachenalia aurea
Synonym:Lachenalia nelsonni
Synonym:Lachenalia pearsonni
Synonym:Lachenalia tricolor



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

This plant is suitable for growing indoors


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)


3-6 in. (7-15 cm)


USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:


Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring


Grown for foliage


Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Chandler, Arizona

Clayton, California

Irvine, California

Mission Viejo, California

Newport Beach, California

San Francisco, California

San Leandro, California

Vista, California

Divernon, Illinois

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jan 1, 2007, jmorth from Divernon, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:

I've had a small colony of L. aloides for 3 years that is grown in a pot in the basement. They are presently (12/06) putting on a fine display. They tend to flop but the use of an orchid ring helps them remain upright. They are under fluorescent lights this year although last year they responded well under a metal halide lamp. I think sucess hinges on a cool growing environment, the mean basement temperature in the winter is 60 degrees F.


On Oct 20, 2001, Baa wrote:

I find it hard to believe that many don't grow this little bulbous perennial from South Africa.

Has broad, lance shaped, purple mottled, mid green, basal leaves which die back in early summer. Bears pendant, tubular, bright yellow with scarlet rimmed flowers.

Flowers anywhere between December - April.

This happy little plant will love a position on a windowsill in well drained soil. Is summer dormant and likes to be completely dry during this time. In fact our pots bake hard during the summer and are only noticed again when the leave begin to show in late September. It tolerates a lot of neglect and even thrives on it.

It isn't hardy so needs to be brought indoors in frost prone areas, it will stand a minimum temperature of 37F... read more