Anthericum hookeri (Colenso ex Hook.) Colenso ex Hook.f.
Chrysobactron hookeri Colenso ex Hook.
Common Name: Maori Onion
Bulbinella hookeri is a herbaceous, perennial plant growing from a fleshy rootstock. The plant produces a cluster of succulent, grass-like leaves up to 30cm long plus one to many erect flowering stems up to 60cm tall[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food. It is often grown as an ornamental in gardens.
New Zealand - North and South Islands.
Northern slopes and damp places from lowland to sub-alpine pastures on North and South Islands south to latitude 42° south[
Bulbinella hookeri only succeeds outdoors in the mildest areas of the temperate zone. It can survive short-lived temperatures down to around -5°c[
]. A plant is growing and appears hardy in the rock garden at Cambridge Botanical Gardens in England (hardiness zone 7) - it is in an open position but does not receive a lot of direct sunlight[
An easily grown plant so long as it is in a moist peaty neutral or slightly acidic soil[
], but it also succeeds on drier hillsides[
]. Shade tolerant[
This species is becoming much more common in the wild because it is not eaten by grazing animals nor is it killed by burning[
Root - fleshy[
]. No further details are given.
Seed - best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Sow stored seed in a greenhouse as early in the year as possible. The seed usually germinates in 1 - 3 months at 13°c[
]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first two winters, planting them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Division in the spring. Best done as the plants come into growth. Pot the divisions up and grow them on in a cold frame until they are established then plant them out in the summer.