This wonderful, attractive, small but hardy bulb, previously known as Drimiopsis maculata, is tolerant of neglect and fairly easy to grow, has purple, eye-catching blotches or spots on glossy, dark green, heart-shaped leaves, which makes for a sought after garden and pot plant.
Ledebouria petiolata is a robust bulbous plant that reaches heights of 100–350 mm and spreads rapidly, with clumps reaching ± 300 mm in diameter. The actual storage organ is a globose (spherical) bulb made up of fleshy leaf scales that resemble lily scales, white towards the base and dark pink-purple at the top. Bulbs are deciduous in winter-rainfall regions, but can be evergreen in temperate summer rainfall climates.
The plants have strikingly spotted leaves, 75–120 mm long and ±45 mm wide, on slender petioles (leaf stalks), often with wavy margins, glossy, mid to dark green, depending on whether it grows indoors or outdoors.
Its peduncle (flower stalk) reaches 300 mm tall, bearing a tight cluster of small, scented white flowers, turning pale green on opening. Flowers appear in late winter (August) or early spring (September) and throughout summer ( until March).
Ledebouria petiolata is widespread in eastern South Africa, it occurs in Mpumalanga, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape; and in Swaziland and Mozambique, and extends into tropical East Africa, as far as Tanzania.