Drimiopsis maculata

Drimiopsis maculata

What a curious plant Drimiopsis maculate is. It is not quite a succulent, not quite a leafy perennial. I would add not quite a spotted Pulmonaria and funky hyacinth to the description. It has many common names, including Little White Soldiers and African Hosta. If you see the plant in spring, you may mistake it for the same plant later in the year because it loses its spots and grows a funny above-ground bulb that is purple/green in color.

It is a deciduous bulb that originates from the semi-arid areas of South Africa. In warmer climates it may keep its leaves year-round. It is related to Ornithogalum with flat, somewhat fleshy, oblong-ovate leaves. Young leaves have darker translucent, almost purple spots. Mature leaves are a plain green, but the spots supposedly remain longer when given more shade. The flower stalk rises 6 to 12 inches above the foliage in spring, bearing a tight cluster of small bright white flower buds that open and turn to a pale green. They look very much like a grape hyacinth.

Pronunciation: drim-ee-OP-sis mak-yuh-LAH-tuh

Species Meaning: Spotted

Drimiopsis maculata is native to South Africa.


  • Drimiopsis maculata
    Drimiopsis maculata


Cultivation Notes

Plants are very adaptable and have been known to grow in extremes from sun the shade. They do best in light shade, in a well-draining soil and irrigate moderately. Other sources say they are drought tolerant. One site goes as far as to say: “drought tolerant plant, can grow in subtropics, Mediterranean, desert climate or as houseplant.”

Propagation Notes

Will multiply to form clumps that can be divided every few years.

Additional Information

Arguments are being made that it should be included in the genus Ledebouria.

In Our Garden

Plant ID: P21102

Found in Greenhouse,

In a pot but should probably be moved to where it gets less light so that the spots are more enhanced.

We acquired this plant from Pacific Bulb Society - BX-473 #8 (Bob Lauf).


Genus: Drimiopsis

Species: maculata

Commonly known as: Little White Soldiers, African Hosta

Height: <3ft

Spread: <3ft

Growth Habit:
Sun Needs:
Part Shade
Season of Interest:
Zn8a - down to 10F

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