Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Bushman Poison
Boophone disticha

Family: Amaryllidaceae (am-uh-ril-id-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Boophone (bo-OFF-on-ee) (Info)
Species: disticha (DIS-tik-uh) (Info)

Synonym:Amaryllis disticha

One vendor has this plant for sale.

4 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)
15-18 in. (38-45 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

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
Fuchsia (Red-Purple)

Bloom Time:
Late Fall/Early Winter

Unknown - Tell us

Other details:
Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible

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4 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive papou1 On Dec 30, 2012, papou1 from Perpignan
France wrote:

An unusual bulb which leaves are more decorative and last longer than their flowers. Has whistood -7C and 40cm of snow.

Positive brunsvigiaken On Aug 3, 2010, brunsvigiaken from San Diego, CA wrote:

Depending on the origin of the plant, this species could have either a winter-growing/summer flowering or a summer-growing/spring flowering habit. Plants originating from the extreme SW Africa region are apparently Winter growers, whereas those from other parts of Southern and Central Africa are apparently Summer growers. Thus, it is probably beneficial to reduce watering during the dormant period. My own experience is the Summer growers display more interesting wavy-edged set of leaves whereas the Winter growers tend to display a flat leaf. Both produce leaves in an interesting distichous pattern. Be careful when hand pollinating these flowers ... extended close exposure can give you a headache and sore eyes ... probably a testament to the plant's toxic qualities. Up close, it has a super-sweet pesticide-like odor, but on calm nights or mornings will perfume an area with a not unpleasant fragrance at further distances from the blooms.
- Ken

Positive CactusJordi On Aug 20, 2009, CactusJordi from El Cajon, CA wrote:

If planted in the ground in SoCal seedlings have their first flower after ~ 4 years. From then on they flower every year in July. 10 + year old plants often produce 2 flower stalks almost at the same time.
Due to lack of natural pollinator seeds are set only if pollinated by hand. The ball-shaped flower/seed stands are dry/ripe in 2nd half of August and brake off or are pushed off from below by the new growing leaves.
About 2 months later the +/- pea-sized seeds can't be stopped to germinate even if kept in the fridge!

Positive proff72 On Mar 26, 2007, proff72 from Pretoria
South Africa wrote:

I have about 4 large plants growing wild on my plot in central South Africa, between 30cm and 50cm. Only one is producing seeds. I was told that these plants only flower once very old. Out of 25 seeds planted in planting bags only 5 germinated after about 6 weeks and are now growing. Although poisonous it is a lovely plant and not very common in my region.


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

Bostonia, California
Mission Viejo, California
San Diego, California
Simi Valley, California
Thousand Oaks, California
Vista, California
Toronto, Ontario

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