Massonia pustulata (Blistered Massonia)

Scientific Name

Massonia pustulata Jacq.

Common Names

Blistered Massonia


Massonia scabra, Massonia schlechtendalii

Scientific Classification

Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Scilloideae
Genus: Massonia


Color: White, yellow, or pale pink
Bloom Time: Winter


Massonia pustulata is a small bulbous perennial with two horizontal, opposite leaves and virtually stalkless, white, yellow, or pale pink flowers that appear in winter. The stamens are longer than the perianth, giving the flower an appearance of a rounded, spiky brush-head. The deep "pockmarks" on the leaves give the plant its common name, as well as the specific epithet "pustulata."

Massonia pustulata (Blistered Massonia)
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USDA hardiness zone 8b to 10b: from 15 °F (−9.4 °C) to 40 °F (+4.4 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Most species are winter growers, summer dormant, and bloom early, often in late fall to early winter. Seeds are formed in a three angled (papery) capsule which, as it dries, elongates and easily lifts out or is detached to disperse the seeds. Summer dormant plants will come out of dormancy on their own in the fall even when water is not given. Massonia species have perennial roots, but they are not as picky about losing them as members of the Amaryllidaceae. Repotting can be done any time, but probably best right before they come into growth. A dry dormancy is required.

Massonias are easily grown from seeds. Sow the seeds right before the growing season and cover them with a thin layer of medium. Seeds will germinate in 2 to 3 weeks. In the first year, seedlings make a single cylindrical leaf, and each progressive year, the leaf gets bigger until two leaves per bulb appear. Community pots of seedlings increase in size each year, and the leaves can soon become crowded. Eventually, they need to be transferred to one bulb per container, unless the container is large and can accommodate the spread of the leaves without overlapping too much. See more at How to Grow and Care for Massonia


It is native to the Western Cape of South Africa.


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