Bowiea volubilis has a succulent bright green bulb, resembling an onion can be up to 25 cm in diameter, that is partially exposed above the soil line. The stems produce leaves that are actually small bare branches. The roots are Fleshy, white, to 5 mm in diameter. Small star-shaped greenish or white up to 0.4 inches (1 cm) wide flowers appear in late winter or early spring. Blooms are produced only in moderate to full sun where the plant produces dozens of flowers on each shoot. The flowers have an unpleasant smell. It has black, angular-oblong, shiny seed which is 5-10 mm long. The whole plant is poisonous. It can cause contact dermatitis by touching the bulb or nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and cramping if eaten. The plant is only severely toxic, however, if consumed in large quantities.
Scientific Name: Bowiea volubilis
Common Name: Climbing Onion, Climbing sea onions.
How to grow and maintain Bowiea volubilis:
It prefers full sun or partial shade.
It likes well-drained, organic soil. Utilize a blend a mixture of cactus and normal potting soil.
It prefers to maintain an indoor temperature above 40°F.
Water regularly during the growing season. Never allow the plant sit in water and enable the soil to dry out between watering. Quit watering completely when the vines dry out in late summer. Prune the stems when they turn brown. Resume watering when the bulb re-grows.
Climbing Onions are moderate feeder especially when grown under high light. Utilize 1/4 tsp of fertilizer per gallon of water once a week. Utilize a balanced fertilizer like a 15-15-15. Stop feeding when dormant.
It can propagate from seed, divisions, or from individual scales which once evacuated, will eventually form numerous bulbils.
Pests and Diseases:
Mealybugs seem to be a problem, particularly in older specimens that have formed a clump of bulbs. They hide in the residue of the old, dry, dead bulb scales.