In South Africa three species of liliaceous plants occur to which the common name of Slangkop (snake head) has been given, all of which have been blamed for many years as a cause of mortality in stock. They are:
Urginea burkei (Baker) – Transvaal Slangkop;
Urginea macrocentra (Baker) – Natal Slangkop;
Ornithoglossum glaucum (Salisb.) – Cape Slangkop.
Urginea burkei occurs throughout the greater part of the middle and south-western Transvaal, the north-eastern Free State, and in the northern Cape Province (Kuruman and Bechuanaland).
Ornithoglossum glaucum is distributed over the greater part of the Cape Province, being plentiful in the Karoo and Kalahari regions.
Urginea macrocentra occurs along the coast-belt of Natal, extending as far south as the Transkeian Territories (Cape). It is also found in the Natal midlands up to altitudes of 3,000 feet. Specimens have been identified from the following areas: Inanda, Qudeni, Karkloof, Claridge, Umvoti District, Ifafa (South Coast).