English : Poison bulb
IsiXhosa: Ibati, Incwadi
Description and diagnostic features
It is brown bulb growing above ground. The bulb scales help protect the bulb against fire damage. The leaves grow out in a flat fan and the leaves are long and twisted. The younger the bulb the more twisted are the leaves.
Dried bulb scales.
The scales can be pulled off the bulb without having to dig it out. Do not remove too many so the bulb is still protected from fires.
The dried bulb scales are good against pain. They can be used on the ankles of old people who develop sores on the ankles. They can also be used in the first few days after circumcision to control the pain. Once the pain is over it is best to use Umatunga ( Eucomis ) bulb scales for fastest healing.
The dried bulb scales can also be burnt and the smoke breathed in to facilitate contact with your male ancestors.
It is quite toxic so do not handle too much.
It can cause double vision as it disrupts your eye’s focus.
Mostly in sandy soils where grass does not grow easily.
Protect the seedlings from grass.
Plant the seeds while fresh. They can even start sprouting within the ends of the umbel soon after the umbel dries out.