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Useful Temperate Plants

Babiana fragrans

(Jacq.) Steud.

Iridaceae

+ Synonyms

Babiana disticha Ker Gawl.

Babiana lilacina Eckl.

Babiana plicata Ker Gawl.

Babiana punctata Klatt

Babiana reflexa (Licht. ex Roem. & Schult.) Ker Gawl.

Gladiolus distichus (Ker Gawl.) Roem. & Schult.

Gladiolus fragrans Jacq.

Gladiolus plicatus Jacq.

Gladiolus plicatus Thunb.

Gladiolus reflexus Licht. ex Roem. & Schult.

Common Name: Baboon Root

Babiana fragrans
Flowering plants
Photograph by: Andrew massyn
Creative Commons License
Babiana fragrans Babiana fragrans

General Information

Babiana fragrans is a herbaceous, perennial plant with an erect, often branched stem growing from a corm; it can grow 70 - 200cm tall[
1095
Title
A revision of the southern African genus Babiana, Iridaceae: Crocoideae
Publication
Strelitzia 18
Author
Goldblatt P. & Manning J.C.
Publisher
South African National Biodiversity Institute: Pretoria
Year
2007
ISBN
978-1-919976-32-7
Description
An in-depth revision of the genus Babiana
].
The corm is harvested from the wild for local use as a food. The plant is grown as an ornamental, valued for its flowers and their pleasant aroma.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

73
Title
Flora of the Cape Peninsula.
Publication
 
Author
Adamson. and Salter.
Publisher
 
Year
 
ISBN
 
Description
A good flora but rather short on details of habitat. Not for the casual reader.
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
1095
Title
A revision of the southern African genus Babiana, Iridaceae: Crocoideae
Publication
Strelitzia 18
Author
Goldblatt P. & Manning J.C.
Publisher
South African National Biodiversity Institute: Pretoria
Year
2007
ISBN
978-1-919976-32-7
Description
An in-depth revision of the genus Babiana

Range

S. Africa - southwest Cape Province.

Habitat

Sandy soils on flat land and mountain sides[
73
Title
Flora of the Cape Peninsula.
Publication
 
Author
Adamson. and Salter.
Publisher
 
Year
 
ISBN
 
Description
A good flora but rather short on details of habitat. Not for the casual reader.
]. Sandstone, granite and occasionally clay slopes[
1095
Title
A revision of the southern African genus Babiana, Iridaceae: Crocoideae
Publication
Strelitzia 18
Author
Goldblatt P. & Manning J.C.
Publisher
South African National Biodiversity Institute: Pretoria
Year
2007
ISBN
978-1-919976-32-7
Description
An in-depth revision of the genus Babiana
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
HabitCorm
Height1.00 m
PollinatorsBees, ?Beetles
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

Babiana fragrans is a plant of the Mediterranean climate of southwest S. Africa, with its hot, dry summers and cooler wet winters. In its native habitat, the plant comes into growth in the winter and flowers in the spring, then dies down during the dry season. Outside of Mediterranean climates, the plant can only be grown outdoors in mild winter areas, otherwise are best grown with some protection. They can tolerate temperatures down to about -5°c[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
An easily grown plant, it requires a warm, sunny, sheltered position in a well-drained light sandy soil[
42
Title
Hardy Bulbs.
Publication
 
Author
Grey. C. H.
Publisher
Williams & Norgate.
Year
1938
ISBN
-
Description
Rather dated now, but an immense work on bulbs for temperate zones and how to grow them. Three large volumes.
,
79
Title
The World of Iridaceae
Publication
 
Author
Innes. C.
Publisher
 
Year
 
ISBN
 
Description
Deals with many of the plants in the Iris family giving brief details of habitat and notes on cultivation. Well illustrated.
].
Plant the corms 20 - 25cm deep[
79
Title
The World of Iridaceae
Publication
 
Author
Innes. C.
Publisher
 
Year
 
ISBN
 
Description
Deals with many of the plants in the Iris family giving brief details of habitat and notes on cultivation. Well illustrated.
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. In mild winter areas the corms can be lifted after the plant dies down in the autumn and stored overwinter in a dry frost-free place, replanting them in the spring[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. If the plants are to be left in the ground over the winter then it is best to give them a protective mulch of bracken or some similar material[
245
Title
Scented Flora of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Genders. R.
Publisher
Robert Hale. London.
Year
1994
ISBN
0-7090-5440-8
Description
An excellent, comprehensive book on scented plants giving a few other plant uses and brief cultivation details. There are no illustrations.
].
The growing plant resents root disturbance[
134
Title
Growing from Seed. Volume 2.
Publication
 
Author
Rice. G. (Editor)
Publisher
Thompson and Morgan.
Year
1988
ISBN
-
Description
Very readable magazine with lots of information on propagation. An interesting article on Ensete ventricosum.
].
The flowers are strongly fragrant[
1095
Title
A revision of the southern African genus Babiana, Iridaceae: Crocoideae
Publication
Strelitzia 18
Author
Goldblatt P. & Manning J.C.
Publisher
South African National Biodiversity Institute: Pretoria
Year
2007
ISBN
978-1-919976-32-7
Description
An in-depth revision of the genus Babiana
].

Edible Uses

Corm - boiled[
2
Title
Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Hedrick. U. P.
Publisher
Dover Publications
Year
1972
ISBN
0-486-20459-6
Description
Lots of entries, quite a lot of information in most entries and references.
,
22
Title
Alternative Foods.
Publication
 
Author
Sholto-Douglas. J.
Publisher
 
Year
 
ISBN
 
Description
Not very comprehensive, it seems more or less like a copy of earlier writings with little added.
,
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
,
61
Title
A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man.
Publication
 
Author
Usher. G.
Publisher
Constable
Year
1974
ISBN
0094579202
Description
Forget the sexist title, this is one of the best books on the subject. Lists a very extensive range of useful plants from around the world with very brief details of the uses. Not for the casual reader.
,
177
Title
Plants for Human Consumption.
Publication
 
Author
Kunkel. G.
Publisher
Koeltz Scientific Books
Year
1984
ISBN
3874292169
Description
An excellent book for the dedicated. A comprehensive listing of Latin names with a brief list of edible parts.
]. It is 2 - 3cm in diameter[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].

Medicinal

None known

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cool greenhouse, it will germinate in the spring[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. The seed can also be sown in a warm greenhouse at most times of the year[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
]. It usually germinates within 4 - 8 weeks at 20°c[
134
Title
Growing from Seed. Volume 2.
Publication
 
Author
Rice. G. (Editor)
Publisher
Thompson and Morgan.
Year
1988
ISBN
-
Description
Very readable magazine with lots of information on propagation. An interesting article on Ensete ventricosum.
]. Give young seedlings as much light as possible[
134
Title
Growing from Seed. Volume 2.
Publication
 
Author
Rice. G. (Editor)
Publisher
Thompson and Morgan.
Year
1988
ISBN
-
Description
Very readable magazine with lots of information on propagation. An interesting article on Ensete ventricosum.
]. Sow the seed thinly so that it does not need to be thinned and grow the young plants on for their first year without disturbance. Give an occasional liquid feed to ensure that they do not become nutrient deficient. Pot the small bulbs up when they are dormant, placing 2 - 3 bulbs in each pot, and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least the next year. Plant them out into their permanent positions when the plants are dormant in the autumn.
Division of offsets when the plant is dormant in the autumn. They are freely produced[
42
Title
Hardy Bulbs.
Publication
 
Author
Grey. C. H.
Publisher
Williams & Norgate.
Year
1938
ISBN
-
Description
Rather dated now, but an immense work on bulbs for temperate zones and how to grow them. Three large volumes.
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. The offsets can be planted direct into their permanent positions if required.
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2018-12-09. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Babiana+fragrans>

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