Colchicum melanthoides has a few leaves, broad at the base and sheathing the stem, then becoming long straps that taper to narrow tips. In the photo the leaf margins are seen to be curving in. A hint of translucence is created by the sun shining through the striped bracts.
The plant’s distribution ranges from the Eastern Cape to Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia. It is a large region characterised by diverse climatic conditions and general vegetation.
Seeing the relevance for one of the plant’s common names of bobbejaanskoen (Afrikaans for baboon shoe), requires some imagination. Barefoot baboons will not do well in these. The men-in-a-boat name shared with other species of the genus is easier to imagine (Manning, 2009; Germishuizen and Fabian, 1982).
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