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Products > Trachyandra saltii
Trachyandra saltii - Wildeknoflok
Image of Trachyandra saltii
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Succulent
Family: Asphodelaceae (~Liliaceae)
Origin: Africa, East (Africa)
Flower Color: White
Bloomtime: Winter/Spring
Synonyms: [Anthericum saltii]
Height: 1-2 feet
Width: 1-2 feet
Exposure: Light Shade/Part Sun
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 30-32 F
Trachyandra saltii (Wildeknoflok) - A curious tufted perennial herb to 2 feet tall with foot long narrow lanceolate grass-like leaves that arise from the tops of thick vertical 4-10 inch tall succulent rhizomes. In late winter through fall the foot tall unbranched spikes rise up bearing green striped white flower buds that open to display the green striped white flowers with yellow stamens that open in the afternoon and close in the evening. Plant in a bright shade, morning or late afternoon sun and water regularly while in active growth. It is noted as a winter grower with a late summer dormancy but can remain nearly evergreen and actively growing through fall but is not that happy with our wet and cooler winters, so is best protected, even in near frost free locations. This is not a plant for planting in the garden here in California, but rather is a rare curiosity succulent plant for container growing. We grow our plants in a bright open area in our greenhouse. It is native to the southwest of the Arabian Peninsula, Ethiopia south through tropical East Africa to northern South Africa, where it grow in grasslands, open woodlands or rocky places from 2,800 feet to 7,000 feet elevation. The areas are often subjected to regular fires and is considered to be a pyrophyte, which is a plant that is adapted to frequent burning. This plant was originally described as Anthericum saltii in 1876 in the Journal of the Linnean Society, Botany (15: 309) by John Gilbert Baker and was reclassified as Trachyandra saltii by the South African botanist Anna Amelia Obermeyer in 1962 in Bothalia, the botanical and taxonomic journal that is now called Bothalia: African Biodiversity & Conservation. The name for the genus is from the combination of the Greek words 'trachy' meaning "rough" and 'andros' meaning "male" in reference to the rough stamen filaments. The specific epithet honors Henry Salt (1780-1827) a British artist, traveler, collector of antiquities, diplomat, and Egyptologist who returned to England from Abyssinia in 1811 with specimens of plants and animals, including this plant. The common name Wildeknoflok is used for this plant but also for some species of the Tulbaghia. Taxonomists have long had difficulty distinguishing between the allied genera to the spider plants in the genus Chlorophytum, such as those plants classified as Anthericum and Trachyandra. The name of this plant has shifted around over time and even what family to place them in has juggled around a bit with previous placement in the Liliaceae, Anthericaceae or Asparagaceae with current treatment (for now!) having them either in the Xanthorrhoeaceae or the Asphodelaceae. Our stock plants were purchased from Desert Images Nursery when it closed after founder Dick Bogart passed away in 2016.  Information displayed on this page about  Trachyandra saltii is based on the research conducted about it in our library and from reliable online resources. We also note those observations we have made of this plant as it grows in the nursery's garden and in other gardens, as well how crops have performed in our nursery field. We will incorporate comments we receive from others, and welcome to hear from anyone who may have additional information, particularly if they share any cultural information that would aid others in growing it.