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Wachendorfia thyrsiflora

   (Family: Haemodoraceae)
Afrikaans: Rooikanol English: Bloodroot  EDIT
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Plant Type: EDIT  Bulb
Height: 1 - 2.5m
Special properties:
  Drought Resistant (light)
  Frost Tolerant (light)
Rarity Status:
Preferred rainfall: Winter
Preferred altitude: 5 - 1200m
Preferred position:
Tolerated soil:  
  Marshy (remains wet all year around),
Loam (gritty, moist, and retains water easily)
pH: acid
Flowering time EDIT
                x x x x
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Flower colours
Flower shape
Flower type
  carpenter bees
  Flower info
  Panicles ot star-shaped golden yellow flowers on a tall flower spike in summer.
Leaf shape EDIT
Leaf margin
  Leaf info EDIT
  The leaves are firm, hairless, entire and broadly sword shaped, with very distinctive longitudinally pleated leaf blades.
Fruit type EDIT
Sow seeds in Autumn
  Seeds per fruit 3
Seed colour
  Seed size Length: 5mm   Width: 3mm
  Seed info EDIT
  Fruit is a 3-locular capsule containing three 5 x 3 x 1 mm semi-circular black seeds. They are hard but light in weight and are densely covered in short coarse hairs which give the seeds a fuzzy outline. They also float on water, and given the riverine habitat of the plant, this is probably an adaptation for water dispersal.
Description EDIT
An evergreen, rhizomatous perennial that grows to a height/spread approx 1.5m, with broad, smooth, sword shaped leaves and bright red/orange roots. It has a crowded panicle of golden yellow flowers with a long blooming time.
Growing EDIT
It prefers to be planted in moisture retentive soil in a sunny position.
Will also grow in soil that is not waterlogged provided it gets ample water particularly during winter and spring.

Propagate by seed and division.
Seed is sown in autumn, in deep (minimum 10 cm) trays in any good seedling mix and kept permanently moist. Seedlings will be ready for transplanting at the beginning of their third season, when they can be potted into individual pots/bags or planted into the garden. Flowering can be expected from their fourth season.
Wachendorfia thyrsiflora multiplies rapidly, new rhizomes are produced annually and it also has the ability to send out stolon-like outgrowths from the main rhizome, sometimes extending sideways for up to several metres, which are able to form new plants at the tip.
Distribution EDIT
Found in permanent marshes, streams, and swampy places.
Occurs in the Western Cape and Eastern Cape, from the Olifants River Valley between Clanwilliam and Citrusdal, south to the Cape Peninsula, inland as far as the Franschhoek Mountains and along the south coast as far east as Humansdorp.
History EDIT
The rhizomes can be used to make a reddish brown dye.
Ecology EDIT
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