Harv. ex Hook.f.
Bowiea is a bulbous genus of perennial, succulent plants which thrive in dry and desert regions of South Africa and America. The plants have many overlapping scales, which form a tight, pale green, spherical bulb that grows to 8 in (20 cm) above the soil, sending up a twining fresh-green branched stem with few linear deciduous leaves. Dormant in winter, when the outer scales and many of the scale tips dry to a paper-like state, the plants burst to growth in late spring or summer, producing one or more very fast-growing stems that needs to be supported by a trellis or stake. The stems are covered with many leafless side-branches that may fall off. The small greenish-white flowers appear in spring. The genus is named after the nineteenth-century British plant collector at Kew, James Bowie.
Cultivation The plants prefer gritty well-drained soil in full sun. Water rarely, except during the growing season. Propagate from seed.
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- Botanica Sistematica