|foliage intermingled with Helichrysum splendidum|
Albuca is a pretty large genus in South Africa, and it extends up into the Arabian peninsula. Some modern classifications merge it into Ornithogalum, an even more widespread genus, and they also include Galtonia as well. Nonetheless Albuca is fairly distinct in its flower morphology, though perhaps DNA will be the final arbitrator of what genus or genera these plants belong to. Some grow in summer rainfall regions, and Albuca shawii is one of these. I have had it for many years in my garden, it needs a spot with minimal competition. The yellow green flowers are attractive and distinct from anything that grows in the northern hemisphere, so here is another Gondwanan touch for your garden. The bulbs are flattened and surprisingly not deep in the ground, so they certainly must be exposed to freezing temperatures in our New York winters. I've not seen it self sow, but it does produce seeds, even more so if helped by hand pollination. Seeds are readily started in pots in spring or late winter, then I plant them out the second year, when they may bloom or they will wait another year before flowering. I've moved plants from the old house to the new after they leafed out and they still bloomed anyway, the ones that are pictured are growing in the school garden near the garden edge.
There are other hardy albucas, A. humilis is one that I need to get growing in the garden, and Galtonia candicans is also a very hardy bulb, sort of like a giant summer snowdrop on a spike. Propagation is the same as for Albuca shawii.