Lachenalia aloides var. aurea Lachenalia aloides var. aurea in the annual Lachenalia display in the Five Arrows Gallery at Exbury Gardens, Hampshire (Richard White)
SABG Lachenalia logo


Southern African Bulb Group

The Autumn meeting is on Sunday 8th October 2017

Newsletter no. 35 (July 2017) is now available

After a period when it was not accessible, for which we apologise, the SABG web-site has been moved to a new hosting organisation. Please let me know if you spot any problems.

Autumn 2017 meeting

The Autumn meeting of the Southern African Bulb Group will be on Sunday 8th October 2017, at Badger Farm Community Centre, Winchester, UK. Doors open at 10:00 a.m. and the meeting will finish at approximately 4:00 p.m.

The speaker for the morning session at approximately 11:00 will be our own member Jeremy Spon, who will give us a talk on The Iridaceae of South Africa.

All who are interested in growing these plants will be welcome. There is an entry fee of £3.00, but parking is free. There will as usual be a plant display table, photos, short talks, plant sales (a good reason to arrive soon after 10:00!), and tea and coffee with biscuits. You are encouraged to bring along any plants you wish to display or sell, or digital photos to share with the audience. Bring your own lunch, or buy something at Sainsbury's next door.

Further information

Future meetings

  • Sunday 8th October 2017: Our next SABG meeting, when Jeremy Spon will talk about “The Iridaceae of South Africa”. More details of the meeting are given above and on the meetings page. The next SABG meetings after that will be on Sunday 8th April 2018 and on Sunday 7th October 2018. Details of the speakers etc. will follow.
  • Saturday 14th October 2017: SABG members are invited to the Exbury Nerine Visit Day organised by the Nerine and Amaryllid Society at the Five Arrows gallery, Exbury House gardens, Exbury, Southampton SO45 1AX, by kind invitation of Nicholas de Rothschild and Theo Herselman. For this (and other NAAS events) see the NAAS events page and please inform Theo or the NAAS Secretary Alison Corley [] if you wish to attend.

Latest newsletters


  • The annual Bulb & Seed Exchange for 2017 will begin in August. Details have been emailed to members, and is repeated in Newsletter 35. The full list of bulbs and seeds will be sent to members, and details will also be available in a simplified form here: Bulb & Seed Exchange 2017.
    (Those previously available in 2015 and 2016 can be seen here: Bulb & Seed Exchange 2015 and Bulb & Seed Exchange 2015.) [Richard White, 12/07/2017]
  • The SABG web-site started in October 2006. I am very grateful to Andrew Jones and Cardiff University who provided a server on which we ran the web-site for more than ten years at no cost to the SABG. It is time for our web-site to be put on a more secure long-term footing. It is now being hosted in the UK by Kualo Ltd., who say they provide “fast, secure & rock-solid hosting”, a claim backed by a “99.9% Uptime Guarantee“ and many positive reviews. They also have strong environmental credentials: their servers are housed in an energy-efficient data-centre powered by energy from green renewable sources. [Richard White, 13/07/2017]
  • I'm experimenting with a new version of our SABG web-site. It will hopefully look smarter and more modern, make it easier to maintain and update, and in due course make it possible for members to contribute directly. [Richard White, 03/10/2015]

About the Group

The SABG is based in the UK and is for anyone interested in growing the beautiful and diverse bulbous plants of South Africa and neighbouring countries. You do not need to be an expert (I'm not!) or live in the UK, but our meetings have all been in England so far.

The objective of the Southern African Bulb Group is to further the understanding of the cultivation of Southern African bulbs, where 'bulbs' is used in the broad sense to encompass bulb-, corm- and tuber- possessing Southern African plants, which are mostly 'monocots' (plants with strap-like leaves and flower parts in threes or sixes) but also including 'dicots' (with broad leaves and frequently five-petalled flowers) such as Oxalis.

Many of these plants come from the former Cape Province, now the Northern, Western and Eastern Cape Provinces, and are easy to grow in a cool greenhouse or a sunny conservatory or window sill. They usually provide colourful flowers in autumn and winter and need a dry period in summer, because they are winter growers. Some are summer growers and a few of these will grow outside in southern or sheltered parts of the UK, such as Agapanthus, some Nerines and Tulbaghias, etc. Others, like Lachenalia, are real jewels to brighten up your conservatory when not much else is in flower.


To join the group, or to enquire about joining:
Rodney Sims

To enquire about the newsletter or web site, to send suggestions for additions and improvements, or to submit items for inclusion:
Richard White

Southern African Bulb Group Calendar

Autumn 2014 display table
The display table at our Autumn meeting on 12 October 2014, showing a variety of species of Nerine, Lachenalia, Massonia, Empodium and other genera.
[Click here for a larger version, which might let you read the labels, especially if you click again to enlarge the resulting image further]

This public Google Calendar shows SABG meetings and related information which you can browse through and perhaps add to your own calendar. [Click on the triangles to move to March/April or October, when one of our meetings and perhaps other events should appear; if you click on one you can see a map, get directions, copy the event to your own calendar, etc., courtesy of Google. If you have your own Google or Gmail account, you may wish to add our public calendar (“SABG”) to your own private Google Calendar, so that all the SABG events will appear on your Android smartphone or tablet.]

Veltheimia sp.
The flower spike of Veltheimia sp. in my conservatory in Hampshire. This plant may be V. bracteata or V. capensis or a hybrid between the two.
(Richard White, 28 March 2014)
Nerine filifolia
Nerine filifolia in the new conservatory at Kirstenbosch Botanic Garden at the foot of Table Mountain in Cape Town.
(Richard White, April 2006)
Lachenalia pustulata
Lachenalia pustulata in cultivation in Hampshire, UK.
(Richard White)
Haemanthus coccineus
Three plants of Haemanthus coccineus in April 2006, growing in a very stony soil at Cape Agulhas, the southernmost point of the continent of Africa, within a few yards of both the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean.
(Richard White, April 2006)

Copyright © 2017 by the Southern African Bulb Group. All rights reserved. This page was last edited by Richard White on 14th July 2017.