Shire Wild Bulbs and Nursery
Amaryllidaceae Boophone


Popular among growers for their striking fan-shaped leaf formations and large dense umbels of beautiful cream-pink flowers.  Both species are very long lived, which is where the common name ‘century bulb’ came from. Bushman’s poison bulb has been widely used in traditional medicine, where the leaf scales are used to make a variety of concoctions, although they contain toxic alkaloids. Easily grown in pots or rock gardens, provided they are kept dry in their dormant period. Large pots should be filled with a well-drained sandy medium with a generous layer of compost in the bottom and put in a spot that receives full sun.


Name Boophone haemanthoides 

 Boophane haemanthoides shire bulbs

Common name Bushman poison bulb
African name  
D/E deciduous
Rainfall winter
Height 40cm
Light requirements fs
Flowers April
Medicinal uses

Traditionally used as an ingredient
|or arrow poison, and as a dressing
for cuts, sores, boils and burns.




Name Boophone disticha

 Boophane disticha shire bulbs

Common name Bushman poison bulb
African name incotho (x)
D/E deciduous
Rainfall summer
Height 40cm
Light requirements fs
Flowers October
Medicinal uses Used to plug sour milk container.
Used for arrow poison by the San
bushman. Used in traditional medicine
to treat pain, wounds and as a
narcotic. The dry outer scales of
leaves are used as an outer dressing
after circumcision and are also applied
to boils and septic wounds to alleviate
pain and to draw out pus. Weak
decoctions of the bulb scales are used
as an effective sedative. Higher doses
induce visual hallucinations, which are
sometimes used for divinations.
Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Shade Code

FS -  full sun
SS -  semi shade
S -    shade

Download our catalogue

Please click here to download a pdf version of our catalogue.