Pregnant Onion (Albuca bracteata) on a sandstone railway cutting. Like so many of Melbourne’s weeds, the plant is native to South Africa. However, excepting a 1929 record from Wollongong, this is a plant that has only escaped cultivation in Australia late in the twentieth century. It is frost tender, but very tolerant of dry conditions and capable of dying back and reshooting from the above-ground bulbs when conditions improve.
Periodically fashionable as an indoor potted plant, Pregnant Onion would typically ‘escape’ by way of the casual dumping of unwanted or ‘dead’ plants, as apparently occurred here. Descendants of the existing, mature clutch of bulbs have already spread to a secondary cluster and despite heavy incidental herbicide exposure appear likely to continue to succeed in this area.