2 photos provided by Alice Liles
Alice’s note: This story first appeared in my blog Cactus are Cool on February 27, 2022. I have two versions of this plant and shared my older one with you last week. I bought this one last year and this is its first time to bloom for me. Some may think it is a messy-looking succulent, but it is different and as it grows and makes more bulbs and gets fuller, it will be an impressive plant.
Last week I shared with you my Albuca humilis and its interesting flowers. I also have a form of an Albuca spiralis- you might remember I mentioned there are myriad varieties of this species that are native to South Africa. If you google it, you will see pictures of a plant with much tighter curling leaves which is referred to as a spiralis or corkscrew albuca, so I am sure there are different varieties of spiralis. So far this is the closest I can come to identifying it, so there you are. Mine had just started putting up its buds, and since I had added this one to my collection in 2021, I was looking forward to seeing its’ flowers for the first time.
And then it happened pretty quickly. The flowers started opening. But to my surprise, they didn’t open facing up; they opened facing down! Larger flowers, but harder to see and appreciate.
Here’s a shot trying to look up under the plant for a different view of the flowers-not an easy shot to take, I might add! And I’m not sure it adds much to what you can see of the flowers.
Albuca spiralis has larger bulbs, a larger flower, and makes a larger plant than the A. humilis, but the curly leaves do give it a different look, and I suspect that is one of the main reasons collectors like to add it to their collections. It, too, is one you won’t find easily, but it might be worth the hunt. As the plant matures and makes more bulbs and becomes fuller with the leaves that go everywhere, it will be an impressive plant.
But whichever variety you find, I think you will enjoy it. Just call it an albuca and don’t worry about the specific botanical name.
That’s what I plan to do!
Check out more pictures of this plant at www.aliceliles.com .
Muleshoe Journal Correspondent