Herb: Lady's Hand

Latin name: Cyanella capensis

Family: Amaryllidaceae (Amaryllis Family)

Edible parts of Lady's Hand:

Bulb - cooked. Roasted as a vegetable, it is used as an onion substitute.

Description of the plant:


30 cm
(11 3/4 inch)

July to


Habitat of the herb:

Flats and hillsides of the Cape Peninsula.

Propagation of Lady's Hand:

Seed - sow the seed thinly in the autumn in a greenhouse so that it will not be necessary to thin the seedlings. Once the seed has germinated, grow on the seedlings in the same pot for their first year, giving an occasional liquid feed to ensure that they do not become mineral deficient. Pot up 2 - 3 small bulbs to a pot when the plants are dormant and grow them on in a greenhouse until the bulbs reach flowering size. Plant them out in the spring, after the last expected frosts. Division of offsets when the plants are dormant. Larger bulbs can be planted straight out into their permanent positions, but it is best to pot up the smaller bulbs and grow them on for a year in a cold frame before planting them out.

Cultivation of the herb:

Flats and hillsides of the Cape Peninsula.

Medicinal use of Lady's Hand:

None known

Known hazards of Cyanella capensis:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.