Century plant, Poison bulb, Sore-eye flower.

(Boophone disticha) Sore-eye flower…

“A most rewarding bulbous plant” state all the plant books, a beautiful flowering plant that results in a tumbling seed pod that spreads the seed in its natural habitat.

This is an attractive, deciduous bulbous plant with a thick covering of dry scales above the ground. The large, round heads are sometimes on such short stems that they appear to grow directly from the bulb, almost at ground level. The colour of flowers varies from shades of pink to red and are sweetly scented.

This plant has many medicinal uses, the Bushman once used the poison for their arrows, and traditional healers use it to treat pain and wounds.  The outer covering of the bulb is applied to boils and abscesses. Fresh leaves are used to stop bleeding of wounds. The plants are known to be poisonous to cattle and sheep.

The name sore-eye flower refers to the fact that if a person is exposed to the open flowers in a confined space; it may lead to sore eyes and even to a headache.

How can something so beautiful be a pain in the eye….?????

Rietvlei 18-10-2012 310

Tania rietvlei 15-10-2012 094

Tania rietvlei 15-10-2012 097