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Products > Babiana stricta
Babiana stricta - Baboon Flower

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Bulb/Tuber/Rhizome etc.
Family: Iridaceae (Irises)
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Flower Color: Mixed
Bloomtime: Spring
Height: 1 foot
Width: 1-2 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 15-20° F
Babiana stricta (Baboon Flower) - This plant is bulb-like with a corm that produces upright fans of pleated and slightly hairy, sword-shaped 6 inch tall leaves which emerge in mid-winter and are followed in the spring by short spikes rising just above the foliage, bearing blue to violet cup-shaped flowers. The bloom period is about 3 to 4 weeks and flowers and foliage die back by summer. Plant in full sun and irrigate in spring if necessary but do not water after the foliage dies back. Hardy as a dormant bulb to below 15° F but the foliage, which can be emergent during cold temperatures, is hardy only to short duration temperatures down to around 20° F. Looks best in the garden planted massed in clumps or along a border and also nice as a container plant. This species comes from the clay soils in the Renosterveld (Afrikaans for "rhinoceros-field") plant community within the Cape Floristic Region in southwestern Cape Province of South Africa and has been used in the breeding to make many garden hybrids. The name for the genus comes from the Afrikaans word 'baviaan' for "baboon" from the observation in the wild of baboons digging and eating the corms, which were also part of indigenous people’s diet. The specific epithet is the Latin word for "erect" or "upright" in reference to the upright inclination of the leaves. We have grown this great little plant at our nursery since 1992.  The information on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library and from online sources as well as from observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery's garden and in other gardens that we have visited. We have also incorporated comments received from others and always appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have some additional information, particularly if this information is contrary to what we have written or includes additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing  Babiana stricta.