Strumaria gemmata is a geophyte that annually produces leaves and a large inflorescence from its perennial bulbous rootstock. These two above-ground features emerge at different times during the year. The inflorescence of the autumn-flowering plant was on time for this April photo.
The two hairy leaves appear in winter, the rainy season. These oblong to elliptic leaves become 20 cm long and 25 mm wide. The leaf tips are rounded. Leaves recurve or are prostrate.
The inflorescence defines the height of about 40 cm that the plant attains. Small flowers are borne on long pedicels in an umbel of about 15 to 20 flowers on a scape that is also long. The blooming season is prolonged by some buds in the centre of the umbel waiting their turn while seed may already be growing in the oldest, fertilised flowers below.
The species occurs in the Little Karoo from Ladismith eastwards, over the Swartberge into the Great Karoo to the north. The plants grow in loam soils on calcrete outcrops or well-drained flats in some drier parts of the winter rainfall area (Vlok and Schutte-Vlok, 2010; Wikipedia).