leaves 50 cm flower up to 1 m
white November to February; spring summer
shade; dry shade; semi-shade; container; paving; roof garden; walls; rockery; damp soils; narrow spaces; wildlife insects
woodland forest; grassland; rocky places
thicket; Highveld; subtropical east coast; bushveld savanna
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Chlorophytum bowkeri is a fast growing evergreen perennial with flowering stems that form tall spires up to a 1m in height with dainty pure white flowers packed along its length. The anthers are long and yellow, short lived and close at night time, an identifying feature of the Chlorophytum family. Flowering takes place from around November through to February. Bright green strappy leaves grow from the base eventually forming fairly large clumps. Leaf size: 300 – 800 long and 20 – 60 mm wide and curve slightly to a sharp tip. Plants enjoy damp shade, its natural habitat being moist and rocky grasslands and in forest margins. Plants form a lovely groundcover for shady places. Cholorophytum bowkeri will handle a moderate to hard frost but soon recovers in spring. In my Gillitts garden leaves have been decimated by some type of insect on the odd occasion, but re-sprouted with renewed vigour within days. The clumps thicken up quickly and can be split easily in the same way as the rest of the genus. Their neatness of growth makes an attractive and lush edging of shady beds and pathways. Plant behind the lime and dark green of Plectranthus ciliatus ‘Sasha’, or in front of a large group of Crinum moorei for a quite beautiful focal point that brightens up a shady patch. The species name, bowkeri is named after J.H. Bowker (1822-1900), a South African Naturalist who sent a living plant to Kew Botanic Gardens in England. C. bowkeri has a wide distribution range from Eastern Cape, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West and can be found at altitudes from 1200 – 2000m.