Mary Sue Ittner msittner@mcn.org
Thu, 28 Jun 2007 07:52:41 PDT

I was thrilled recently to see that the Haemanthus humilis 'Giant' that I 
purchased from African Bulbs was going to bloom. Haemanthus never caught my 
interest before I started communicating with other bulb fans on the 
Internet and Doug Westfall's enthusiasm got my attention. I've now had four 
different ones bloom and I'm finding I can grow them better than some of 
the other South African Amaryllids I have tried. And it doesn't seem to 
take so long before they bloom. It is of interest that the ones I am doing 
well with are summer rainfall species I leave in my green house not the 
winter rainfall species, but I haven't given up hope on them either. I may 
try planting H. coccineus out in the garden as the leaves I saw in the wild 
were often enormous and I probably couldn't find a big enough pot. It is 
very thrilling to have the Giant bloom because it will bring back memories 
of our trip to the Eastern Cape at the wrong time of the year when finding 
flowers was difficult so we went bird watching with Cameron and Rhoda. They 
took us to the habitat for this plant, a tall rocky cliff next to a river. 
With binoculars we could make out these huge leaves growing on that cliff.

I have added a lot of pictures to the wiki from Alan Horstmann and myself, 
but as I have time will add some more from Cameron (after I finish adding 
some new species pictures we didn't have on the wiki of Moraea). Cameron 
has some wonderful habitat pictures of Haemanthus including one of Giant's 
habitat. We are starting to get some leaf and fruit pictures added to the 
wiki. So  many books illustrate only the flowers of some of the Amaryllids 
that bloom before their leaves and it's wonderful to see what the leaves 
look like.


New photos:
Haemanthus amarylloides leaves from Alan
Haemanthus coccineus leaves we say near Bainskloof
Haemanthus coccineus seeds from Alan
Haemanthus crispus leaves in habitat from Alan and from our visit to 
Namaqualand in September
Haemanthus deformis from pictures taken when it bloomed in December that I 
hadn't added to the wiki- notice how nice and hairy it is and how huge. 
It's in a pot 12 inches deep
Haemanthus humilis Giant taken last week as the buds showed and progressed, 
also very hairy
Haemanthus pubescens ssp arnicolis leaves from Alan
Haemanthus tristis flowers from Alan

Mary Sue

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