Ledebouria sp.

Ledebouria sp

The snowfalls last week did not deter this tiny Ledebouria from flowering in recently burnt grassland.  15 species are found in the summer rainfall areas of South Africa with a variety of spotted, textured, striped and coloured leaves in different sizes.  The small flowers are usually pink or purplish, although some species have green flowers.  Often, Ledebouria is one of the first plants to flower in spring, and continues through summer. The bulb is eaten by porcupines and in some species the leaves are grazed too.

Due to habitat loss caused by agriculture, forestry and urban sprawl, many Ledebouria species are endangered or rare. Pollination is thought to be by social bees and seed dispersal is principally by water - seed is washed away from where it was released by the mother plant to germinate nearby.

In traditional medicine, Ledebouria has many uses, including the treatment of diarrhoea, influenza, backache, skin irritations, wounds, lumbago and to ease pregnancy. Watch where you step on Springtime walks, there are bound to be some Ledebouria underfoot.


Click on any of the links below to see another Dargle wildflower