Ledebouria and Drimiopsis

Family: Hyacinthaceae


Drimiopsis atropurpurea 

Drimiopsis maculata (Injobo)

Ledebouria luteola (Jessop)

Ledebouria ovatifolia

Ledebouria revoluta (Jessop)

Ledebouria zebrina

Drimiopsis atropurpurea

Drimiopsis maculata

The Ledebourias gave me more than one headache in the identification process. One must have the inflorescence for exact identification as the leaves look very similar. Unfortunately it doesn’t stop there! Even then you have to investigate the leaves for characteristics of some species. Pictures and information on the internet were very confusing and I had a lot of help for the team at iSpot.Apparently the flowers of L. revoluta and L. asperifolia are very similar and the way to tell would be to feel the under surface towards the base of the leaves and see if there are longitudinal rows of papillae. If so, then it is L. asperifolia, if not then it is L. revoluta.

The zebra and wildebeest on our farm love the Ledebouria zebrina and eat both the inflorescence and the leaves. L. luteola has also been observed being grazed upon. I have seen bulbs of L. revoluta, L. luteola and L. ovatifolia being excavated by porcupines.

L. luteola have copious amounts of fine silk like threads in the leaf if you tear the leaf. However, L. revoluta also has this but just not as much.

Ledebouria luteola

Ledebouria ovatifolia can easily be distinguished by the leaves that are flat against the soil.

Ledebouria ovatifolia

I have very successfully grown L. revoluta from seeds. I just pressed the seeds in damp soil and it germinated very soon after that. It already flowered the next season.

At first I thought L. zebrina was L. floribunda. I got the following information from iSpot to correctly identify my specimen:

L. zebrina; Diagnostic Features; Leaves large (300-500 X 90-120mm); inflorescences many (4-10), scape base winged to angled, (Venter 2008)

Resembles large plants of L. floribunda but the leaves are far larger, more than double the number of inflorescences and the flowers are green. (Venter 2008)

L. floribunda leaves 4-6 (200-300 X 40-50mm) inflorescences 1-3, perianth green to pink with a green keel (Venter 2003)

Ledebouria zebrina


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