Thank you to Lindsay for today’s write-up and to “cloudy” of the UBC Botanical Garden forums for taking these photographs in Israel in this posting on the UBC Botanical Garden Botany Photo of the Day Submissions forum. Lindsay writes:
You might not guess from its delicate appearance but Urginea undulata has earned a reputation as one tough geophyte. Native to the Negev Desert in Israel as well as parts of North Africa, this bulb is active twice throughout the year. Flowering, as shown in today’s photographs, corresponds to the onset of the rainy season. This is quickly followed by a dormant period that is eventually broken with the production of stunning foliage in February. The bulb then again goes dormant throughout the following dry summer season.
Throughout its dry season dormancy, Urginea undulata is able to survive with very little, if any, water and sustain extreme ground temperatures because of a protective layer of dead tissues that keep it from drying out or overheating. The bulbs are a food source for animals; not only will the bulbs tolerate disturbance, but the remaining bulbs in the colony actually benefit from frequent ‘cultivation’ of the soil.