Merwilla plumbea
Common name: Large Blue Scilla; Afrikaans name Blouberglilie, slangkop; Sotho name ichita; Zulu names:

This large deciduous bulb with tall plumes of blue flowers is found all over our grasslands during spring. Specimens vary in size and colour depending on the location.
The flowering stem is made up of many violet-blue, or pale blue star-shaped flowers. The flowers are produced before the leaves and give an impression of blue mist when en-masse.
A rosette of attractive, broad, tapering leaves emerge from the top of the bulb and are sometimes edged with purple.  Bees pollinate the honey scented flowers.

Merwilla plumbea occurs on the east of southern Africa, growing on sunny slopes, rocky hills, damp cliff faces, near waterfalls, in moist depressions, on the edges of streams and vleis. It is popular in the muthi trade and intensive harvesting is causing a decline in wild populations. Warmed fresh bulb scales, slightly burned bulb scales and decoctions of the bulb are used as ointments for wound-healing, to treat sprains, fractures, boils and sores and to draw abscesses. The ash from a burnt plant, and the bulb in powdered form, is rubbed into cuts and scratches, and over sprains and fractures.


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