Schizobasis intricata is a long-lived bulbous succulent. The native range is from Ethiopia to South Africa. The climbing onion (not an onion or even closely related) naturally occurs in rocky locations growing among shrubbery for support.
This bizarre-looking plant consists of a bulb (similar in appearance to an onion) growing above the soil line. Atop the bulb grows intricately branched vining foliage. What looks like leaves and foliage are actually modified leaf petioles. Like leaves, the cladophylls can wither and fall off if not treated correctly. Unlike most vines that use tendrils, roots, or intensive twining to remain upright, the climbing onion simply grows rambling around the support.
An easy to grow plant that requires minimal care. Adult plants thrive on neglect. However, germinating the seeds requires care and patience. According to sustainablebioresources.com, “This plant is easily propagated from bulb offsets or seed. The seed should be planted near or on the soil surface. Use sandy, finely-divided, well-draining media. The seedlings grow very slowly.” Remove new daughter bulbs during the inactive growing season. Plant in well-drained planting media as you would for any cactus or succulent.
- Container plant
- Indoor plant
High Risk Traits:
- Elevation range exceeds 1000 m, possibly demonstrating environmental versatility
- Grow in tropical climates
- Bulbous geophyte
- Reproduces by seed
- Seeds dispersed by gravity; possibly secondarily by wind, water or other vectors
- Prolific seed production (densities unknown)
- Limited biological and ecological information may reduce accuracy of risk prediction
Low Risk Traits:
- No reports of invasiveness or naturalization, but no evidence of widespread introduction outside native range
- Unarmed (no spines, thorns or burrs)
- Ornamental and medicinal uses
- Slow growth rate