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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Weeping Anthericum

Afrikaans name: Watergras

Weeping Anthericum

Weeping Anthericum

Photo © Steven Herbert

Anthericum saundersiae

The Weeping Anthericum is also known as the Grass Lily and it is a popular gardening plant. It is a tough plant and gregarious which makes it a good choice to fill areas in a garden.

This attractive plant normally grows in large groups or colonies. The grass-like leaves are around 35 cm in length with a width of 1 cm. The white flowers are star-shaped and are 2 cm across. They appear between October to March. The plant grows to around 40 cm in height.

Besides being grown in many gardens around South Africa, it occurs naturally in KwaZulu-Natal, some parts of the Eastern Cape and Swaziland. Its preferred habitats are coastal forests and low grasslands, particularly near rivers. It does tolerate a bit of frost. The flowers attract a variety of insects including butterflies and bees. Carpenter Bees, in particular, are attracted to the Weeping Antericum and serve as their main pollinators.

The Weeping Anthericum does not have any medical properties although there are reports of pet cats eating the leaves which apparently helps their digestion. I suppose it achieves the same purpose as does grass which is often eaten by cats and dogs. Fortunately, this plant is not poisonous.

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