Cyanella hyacinthoides, commonly lady’s hand or in Afrikaans raaptol (turnip top), is a cormous perennial, annually reaching heights between 25 cm and 40 cm.
The corm grows deep in the earth, as those that dig it up to eat know or discover. The narrowly lance-shaped leaves are stem-clasping and sometimes velvety, present at bloomtime.
The flowers growing in branched racemes or panicles are scented or not, mauve or white. The corolla diameter is about 2 cm. The stamens grow in two groups on joined filaments, the five upper ones having shorter anthers than the lower, larger one. The anther openings are at their tips, the pollen escaping from the wing buzzing of carpenter bees (buzz pollination). Flowering happens in late winter and spring.
The species is distributed in the western parts of the Northern Cape and Western Cape from Steinkopf in Namaqualand to Riversdale in the southern Cape.
The plant’s habitat is mostly renosterveld, fynbos and succulent Karoo in clay and loam soil on granite slopes, occasionally sandstone and limestone. The species is not considered to be threatened in its habitat early in the twenty first century (Manning, 2007; Bean and Johns, 2005; iNaturalist; http://redlist.sanbi.org).