hypoxis hemerocallidea


Hypoxis hemerocallidea Common Name: star flower, Sotho name: molo kharatsa, Zulu name: iNkomfe

The yellow star-like flowers of Hypoxis flowering in our grasslands herald the arrival of spring and summer rains. During the fire season, it is dormant and the underground corms are protected by tough fibres.

The arching sickle-shaped leaves appear before the flowers and are hairy underneath.  Each inflorescence carries between 5 and 13 short-lived flowers which close by midday.  Often two or three open at the same time to encourage cross pollination by bees.

While it is not a threatened plant, with natural grasslands under pressure from development and the popularity of Hypoxis in traditional medicine, wild populations are on the decline. It is probably the best known medicinal plant in the country and the tuber is used in infusions and decoctions to treat a variety of ailments from headaches, mental disorders, arthritis, cancer and to build the immune system.

The leaves are used to make rope and the tuber is used as a dye to blacken floors.

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