Botanical name

Romulea rosea

Family

Iridaceae

Common Name

Froetang, Knikkertjies
Romulea rosea
Romulea rosea
Romulea rosea
Romulea rosea
Romulea rosea
Romulea rosea

Description

Cormous geophyte mostly 6-15cm high; corm rounded at base with curved acuminate teeth. Leaves 3-6, basal, threadlike, rather stiff, narrowly 4-grooved and hairless. Flowers pink to magenta to white often with a purplish zone around the yellow cup; tepal lobes are yellowish-green and dark striped on the reverse.

The flowers in this genus only open on warm sunny days, usually around midday.

The peduncles (flower stems) of most of the species in this genus are highly mobile and bend down after pollination, straightening again when seeds are mature and ready to be shed.

Common name Froetang is derived from the Portuguese 'fruta'; the young capsules are edible and favoured by baboons.

Genus named after Romulea the founder and first king of Rome; the genus is represented in Italy.

It is a proclaimed weed in Australia.

 

Habitat

Sandy and clay slopes and flats especially in disturbed places

Flower Date

July to November