African Hosta / Leopard Plant (Drimiopsis maculata)
This is a wonderful little groundcover from South Africa. It has succulent, thick green leaves which are covered in Leopard spots. The spots are a dark green to almost black, and the colour tends to be enhanced (e.g. darker spots on the foliage) in a shady spot and over winter.
This Leopard spotted plant has a bulbous root system, which lies dormant when conditions aren't suited to growing, or when it is too cold. In spring it grows a fresh new set of leaves with small white flowers, on a spike of around 30cm tall. It is sometimes called ‘Little White Soldiers’, probably due to the white flower stalks.
Drimiopsis maculata is well suited to shade to part shade positions in the garden, and is great alongside Clivia’s in that hard to grow dry shady spot.
It is not invasive and keeps the ground covered like a ‘mulch’ – ensuring water stays in the pot where’s it’s needed, to reduce moisture loss.
The African Hosta is sometimes grown as an indoor plant, and is well suited as potted plant due to its tolerance of dark places. It makes a great ‘pot filler’, with a tall shrub or tree in the middle of the pot, and this plant surrounding it. Make sure you give this plant a well draining soil mix.
All in all, this is a very hardy groundcover which is tolerant of neglect and easy to grow.
Little White Soldiers, African Hosta, Leopard Hosta, African False Hosta
Plants for sale: Bulbs with lush foliage approx 10cm in wide.