Saturday, August 10, 2013

Early Nancy

Wurmbea biglandulosa
Family: COLCHICACEAE
I found a large patch of these delightful little lilies in grassy woodland, in the well-watered soil of a creek bed at Gowrie Junction last week.

The purple markings were stronger on some flowers than on others.

A patch can be expected to flower for a period of about three weeks. The plants will produce seed capsules which ripen in November or December, after which they will die back to their underground corms until next winter.
There's not much to the plants - just a few wispy leaves and the flower stem. When not flowering they are very easy to overlook.
 They are frost hardy, but like to be fairly well-watered. This means they are not often seen in our district, with its degraded stream beds.
They can be grown from seed, but it is rarely done, as it takes three years for new little plants to flower for the first time. Before white settlement, the bulbs were an important food plant for the people of the Downs.

2 comments:

J Gray said...

wow, they are beautiful! What a great find.

Patricia Gardner said...

I'm glad you share my delight in them. Finds like this do the heart good!
Trish