Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Babiana hirsuta (Lam.) Goldblatt & J.C.Manning

One of the taller growing species with lance-shaped, stiff, pleated, finely velvety leaves and bright red flowers, the upper tepal clawed.  To 70cm.  [CECB].

Horticultural & Botanical History

Introduced to Britain in 1774.  [JD].

History at Camden Park

Seeds or bulbs of Babiana Thunbergia were presented to the Sydney Botanic Gardens by Messrs. Macarthur, c.1831.  [RBGS AB1].  The plant never appeared in the catalogues and was possibly lost from the garden before 1843.

Probably identical with Babiana hirsuta, seeds of which were also presented to the Sydney Botanic Gardens by Messrs. Macarthur, c.1831 [RBGS AB1].  This is the only reference.  However, this identification is doubtful as I have found no plant of this name recorded from this time.  The name Babiana hirsuta used by Macarthur can only be coincidental but it could relate to Antholyza hirsuta Lam. which is why it is included here.  It cannot directly relate to Babiana hirsuta (Lam.) Goldblatt & J.C.Manning, a named coined only in 2008.


Published Oct 18, 2009 - 02:51 PM | Last updated Jul 23, 2010 - 11:43 AM

Family Iridaceae
Region of origin

South Africa, Cape district

  • Babiana thunbergii Ker-Gawl.
  • Antholyza hirsuta Lam.
  • Gladiolus mollis Vahl.
  • Babiana thunbergii Ker-Gawl.
  • Anaclanthe namaquensis N.E.Br.
  • Anaclanthe plicata (L.f.) N.E.Br.
  • Antholyza plicata L.f.
  • Antholyza namaquensis (N.E.Br.) Goldblatt.
Common Name

Baboon root, Baboon flower

Name in the Camden Park Record

Babiana Thunbergia

Babiana hirsuta

Confidence level medium