home   about   search

biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Nothoscordum x borbonicum

[= Nothoscordum fragrans]

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Monocotyledons > Order: Asparagales > Family: Amaryllidaceae

Nothoscordum x borbonicum
Nothoscordum x borbonicum flowering in a Cape Town garden. [photos H.G. Robertson, Iziko ]

An introduced weed in southern Africa, often found growing in garden lawns and along roads. It is difficult to control because the parent plant produces many small bulblets which get left behind when the plant is pulled out. It is closely related to Allium which is the onion and garlic genus but it does not have the same strong smell. Nothoscordum x borbonicum is a natural hybrid between N. gracile and N. entrerianum which originate from Argentina in South America (Meyer 2000). Nothoscordum weeds in southern Africa evidently have previously been misidentified as Nothoscordum gracile when in fact they are Nothoscordum x borbonicum.


  • Meyer, N.L. 2000. Alliaceae. In: Seed Plants of Southern Africa (ed. O.A. Leistner). Strelitzia 10: 569-570. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.

  • Ravenna, P. 1991. Nothoscordum gracile and N. borbonicum (Alliaceae). Taxon 40: 485-487.

Text by Hamish Robertson