Boophone Species, Bushman Poison, Century Plant, Tumbleweed

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
Synonym:Boophone intermedia
Synonym:Boophone longipedicellata
Synonym:Boophone toxicaria
Synonym:Brunsvigia disticha



Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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


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

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Oct 1, 2017, Kell from Northern California, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

Per Ken Blackford of San Diego, Ca., grower extraordinaire of the family Amaryllidaceae.

"Generally 4-7 years til bloom size, after which they generally bloom annually under good conditions."


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.


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 ... read more


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!


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.