Monday, September 22, 2014

Botany picture #176: Romulea rosea

Some of the lawns in our suburb would look quite familiar to South Africans, I suspect, because there is an astonishing number of introduced plants from the Cape Region growing in them. In addition to the ubiquitous cape weed, which is really doing well for itself this year, there is also this little pink liliaceous monocot called Romulea rosea (Iridaceae). With its tiny size it seems harmless enough at first sight but it is apparently a declared noxious weed.

Another remarkable thing about it is the silliness of its common name: onion grass. Neither an onion nor a grass, this plant is thus a testament to the lack of imagination of its namers.

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