Babiana odorata, commonly known in Afrikaans as stinkbobbejaantjie (little stink baboon), is a cormous perennial reaching heights from 5 cm to 15 cm. The corm, covered in a matted tunic, is positioned deep in the soil. The few lance-shaped leaves, spreading in a fan, are pleated and covered in soft hairs.
The fragrant, two-lipped (zygomorphic) flowers are borne in a short spike. The six tepals form a short tube of up to 14 mm long and widen into a funnel-shaped corolla with rounded or pointed tepal tips. The corolla is pale yellow or cream; the lower three tepals have darker yellow central markings, particularly the pair flanking the central one.
The inner bracts subtending the flowers are split, their surfaces hairy. Flowering commences around midwinter, continuing to early spring.
The species is distributed in the southwest of the Western Province from Piketberg and Tulbagh to Paarl and Bellville. The photo was taken near Piketberg in August.
The habitat is damp clay and granitic soils in renosterveld. The species is considered to be endangered early in the twenty first century due to habitat destruction for wheat farming (Manning, 2007; Manning and Goldblatt, 1996; Bond and Goldblatt, 1984; iNaturalist; http://redlist.sanbi.org).