Wurmbea.JPG (41597 bytes)Wurmbea dioica: is a member of the Colchicaceae family. The genus used to be included in the Liliaceae family.
Wurmbea dioica is known as Early Nancy and is a bulbous, herbaceous plant that reaches a height of 15 to 20 centimetres with three widely separated, linear leaves. Each plant bears from two to seven flowers. They are white with purple blotches carried on an erect stem. Flowers appear in spring.
The Early Nancy has a confusing sex life. Plants may carry both male and female flowers and bisexual flowers. Other plants may have only male or female flowers.
Wurmbea dioica is found in all Australian states except the Northern Territory and Western Australia .
There is a form with greenish-yellow flowers that is found in far western New South Wales and South Australia .
Wurmbea dioica grows in forest, woodland, on inland sand dunes and loam flats. Early Nancy grows naturally on Yallaroo where it is found at the base of slopes usually in moist situations. In good conditions, after reasonable autumn (fall) rains, Early Nancies will appear in large numbers.
The species certainly has a great impact when growing en masse. Native cottage gardens would benefit from the inclusion of clumps of Early Nancies. The species could also be grown in containers.
Wurmbea dioica transplants readily and could be propagated from seed.