Star-flower, Yellow Star Hairy Star-flower Hypoxis hemerocallidea, Hypoxis rooperi
(Gifbol, Kaffertulp, Sterblom, Harige Sterblom)
Order: Asparagales. Family: Hypoxidaceae
Rietvlei Nature Reserve, Gauteng
Flowers of the genus Hypoxis are herbaceous geophyte with a fibrous base and with a corm. Leaves basal, sessile, with a sheathing base; outermost reduced to cataphylls. Indumentum of 2-armed or stellate hairs. Inflorescence a raceme or corymb or flowers solitary. Flowers without a perianth tube. Tepals in two series of 3; yellow inside, hairy on the outer side. Fruit a capsule. Seeds not strophiolate, smooth or (often) papillose.
All species are deceptively similar while within each species shape and size of plants, leaves and flowers can be quite variable. This makes the species notoriously difficult to identify.Description Hypoxis hemerocallidea
is a tuberous perennial with straplike leaves and yellow star-shaped flowers. The leaves are up to 400 mm long, neatly arranged one above the other in 3 ranks, broad, stiff and arching outwards with prominent ribs and tapering towards the tips. The lower surface of the leaves is densely hairy with white hairs. Leaves appear above ground in spring before the flowers. The flowers are carried on 5 or 6 slender erect inflorescences, each carrying 5–13 bright yellow, star-shaped flowers with 6 tepals. Six free stamens arise from the base of the tepals with prominent anthers. The style is short and fat, carrying the robust stigma. The flowers are short-lived and close at midday. Flowers open sequentially from the base to the apex. Usually 1–3 flowers are open at the same time, thus encouraging cross-pollination. The large dark brown tuber is covered with bristly hairs, and is bright yellow when freshly cut. It has an unpleasant bitter taste.
Seeds are hard, black, smooth and glossy.Distribution
Widespread in the eastern part of southern Africa from the Eastern Cape to Botswana and Mozambique. Provincial distribution: Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West. Habitat
Occurs in a wide range of habitats, including sandy hills on the margins of dune forests, open, rocky grassland, dry, stony, grassy slopes, mountain slopes and plateaus. Appears to be drought and fire tolerant. Major habitats are Albany Thicket, Grassland, Indian Ocean Coastal Belt, Savanna.
Links: Botanical Society of South Africa