In this apparently thriving Eucomis schijffii plant, commonly known as the miniature eucomis, the colouring of the crown of bracts at the top of the raceme is dark maroon to purple. The large bracts with their sagging tips tend to hide many of the flowers on its typically short raceme. Flowers appear on the raceme down to ground or leaf level in this specimen. There is some green colour visible on some flowers, although the purple predominates, more than a mere speckling. Tepal tips are rounded and some pale yellow anthers can be discerned.
These plants do not often become much taller than 10 cm. It grows at altitude in grassland of the Drakensberg in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape; and on the Malutis of Lesotho. These regions have cold dry winters during which the plant is dormant, the above-ground parts having died off.
The ovoid bulb where the vitality and resources reside in underground rest, awaits the signs of higher temperatures and spring rain to send up new leaves and a flower stalk that will bear blooms by summer or early autumn (iSpot; www.plantzafrica.com).