What Does It Look Like?
What is it?
Yellow Soldier (Lachenalia reflexa) has a bulb and two strap-shaped leaves, 60–350 mm long and 15–25 mm wide, which are spreading or ascending, and flat or slightly channelled in cross-section.
The greenish-yellow, slightly succulent flowers are borne in erect racemes. Each flower is about 25 mm long and more or less tubular in shape, but swollen in the middle; one of the outer segments is slightly longer than the others and is pouched at the apex. Large healthy plants can produce up to ten flowering spikes. Plants flower particularly well following fire and set prolific amounts of seed. The smooth, shiny black seeds are about 2 mm long (CRC 2003).
For further information and assistance with identification of Yellow Soldier contact the herbarium in your state or territory.
Growth form (weed type/habit)
Where it currently grows? Preferred habitat
Yellow Soldier grows in woodlands and heath, especially on calcareous, sandy soils. In Perth, it occurs on sandy or calcareous soils and is found invading Banksia/tuart woodlands, Banksia/jarrah woodlands, tuart woodlands and limestone scrub and heath (Brown et al. 2002).
Are there similar species?
In recent years a number of Lachenalia species have become naturalised in southern Australia. Lachenalia aloides has been recorded as a weed in lowland grassland and grassy woodland in Victoria, while Lachenalia aloides and Lachenalia bulbifera have been recorded as garden escapees in South Australia.
In southwestern Western Australia four species, Lachenalia aloides var. aurea, Lachenalia bulbifera, Lachenalia mutabilis and Lachenalia reflexa have all been recorded as weeds. Although these species are still very localised, they are spreading through woodlands in this region. The various species of Lachenalia are similar looking, although there is some variation in plant size and flower colour. L. aloides grows 50–310 mm high and has flowers in a range of colours including orange, red, yellow and greenish blue. L. bulbifera grows 80–300 mm high and has orange to red flowers, with darker red or brown markings and green tips. L. mutabilis is the largest of the four species, growing 100–450 mm high, with pale blue and white flowers with yellow tips, and only one leaf. Yellow Soldier (L. reflexa) is the smallest species (30–190 mm high) and has pure yellow flowers. Some species hybridise (CRC 2003).