Merwilla plumbea

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Merwilla plumbea (Lindl.) Speta

Asparagaceae

Life form: bulb or tuber
Usage: ornamental plant

Exposure: sun   9

Moisture: dry bis Moisture: moderately moist

Soil: gritty loam

Arrangement: basal
Leaves: decidious

Shape: lanceolate

Division: simple

Shape: six-stellate
Fruit: loculicidal capsule

112A / 9ab5dd 

Inflorescence: raceme

Petals: not specified
Habit: not specified

Growth form: not specified

Taxonomy

Divisio:
Magnoliophyta
Subdivisio:
Magnoliophytina
Classis:
Liliopsida
Subclassis:
Liliidae
Superordo:
Lilianae
Ordo:
Asparagales
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Merwilla plumbea belongs to the group of bulbous and tuberous plants.

Naming

Merwilla plumbea was already described and the name validly published by John Lindley. It was Franz Speta, however, who reclassified it into todays valid botanical systematics in 1998.

Taxonomy

Merwilla plumbea is a species in the genus Merwilla which contains 3 species and belongs to the family of the Asparagaceae (Asparagus Family).

Characteristics

Growth

The plants reach heights of 30 to 100 centimetres.

Leaves

Merwilla plumbea is deciduous. The simple leaves are basal. They are lanceolate with entire margins.

Flowers and Fruits

Merwilla plumbea produces racemes of light-blue six-stellate flowers from May to June.

The plants produce loculicidal capsules.

Root System

Distribution

Cultivation

The plants prefer a sunny situation on dry to moderately moist soil. The substrate should be gritty loam. They tolerate temperatures down to -7°C (USDA zone 9).

Classification after Prof. Dr. Sieber

  • woods (soil usually rich in organic material)

Uses

Suited for naturalizing and for nature gardens.

Maintenance and Propagation

  • Remove withered flowers.
  • The leaves should be left on the plants after flowering so that they can gather strength for the following year.
  • Plant in late summer 8 centimetres deep.

Propagate by sowing seed in a cold frame when seeds are ripe or by bulblets in late summer.

Cultivars

Pests and Diseases

Disfigured and discoloured leaves and flowers indicate a viral infection. Remove affected plants and control insects that may spread the disease.

Literature

  • Walter Erhardt, Erich Götz, Nils Bödeker, Siegmund Seybold: Der große Zander. Eugen Ulmer KG, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-8001-5406-7. (Ger.)
  • Christoper Brickell (Editor-in-chief): RHS A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. Third edition. Dorling Kindersley, London 2003, ISBN 0-7513-3738-2.

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