low; moderate; high
blue; pink; purple; summer
sun; rockery; damp sun; roof gardens; sandy soils; wildlife insects
rocky places; grassland; coastal eastern cape; coastal kzn; fynbos; hot dry; bushveld
subtropical east coast; highveld; thicket; western cape; bushveld savanna
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The species name speciosa means ‘showy’ or ‘good looking’ and when in flower, it certainly is that. It is a succulent perennial bulb which occurs naturally in shallow soils in rocky places and grasslands in the summer rainfall regions. The round, fluffy flowers can be blue, pink, mauve or purple and this is a must for the grassland beds. The leaves are a bright to dark green, with a mid-rib, slightly hairy, long and tapering to a point, the plant reaching about 30cm in height. The flowers stand up on tall stalks above the leaves and close at midday, flowering on and off throughout the year. A clump is easily split into a few more plants, but each one will take a couple of years to flower again. It does have a tendency to fall over, so prop it up against a grass clump or another grassland flower group. It flowers at the same time as the Aloe cooperi, contrasting beautifully with the pale apricot of the Aloe flower no matter which colour flower you have. It is still fairly common in its’ natural distribution range.