Brunsvigia is a South African genus of Amaryllidaceae which grow in semi-arid regions. There are about 20 species which produce amazing floral displays in autumn. For more information about this genus see the Brunsvigia main page and index.
Brunsvigia namaquana is a miniature species (to 10 cm) found in quartzite and granite outcrops in Namaqualand. It has zygomorphic flowers and leaves covered in golden bristles, two characteristics not common among species of Brunsvigia. In mature plants the 3-4, occasionally 2, leaves are flat on the ground. The 4 to 10 pale pink with a yellow-green throat flowers are in a small head. It is similar to Brunsvigia radula. Photo 1 is of a seedling leaf already showing its bristles, by Jacob Uluwehi Knecht. Photo 2-3 were taken by Nhu Nguyen showing progressive building of leaves but still many years from blooming.
Brunsvigia natalensis is a summer rainfall bulb that occurs in the Eastern regions of South Africa and is found scattered in grassland, on rock outcrops, up to 2280 m. It has 2 to 6 flattish to semi-erect leaves that are produced with the flowers. There are 30 to 60 deep pink to red flowers in the inflorescence. Flowering occurs from October to January. It is usually a smaller plant with a smaller bulb and with narrower leaves than Brunsvigia radulosa.
Brunsvigia orientalis is a large plant (to 50 cm) found on sandy flats along the coast, riverbeds or inland sand plumes in predominantly low altitude winter rainfall areas of the Western Cape. Flowers are adapted to sunbird pollination. This large bulb can carry up to 50 crimson flowers in a large rounded umbel. The 4-8 oblong leaves appear after the flowers die and are flat on the ground. The upper surface is usually velvety. Flowering occurs February to April. Photo of flowers by Bill Dijk and one of the leaves shortly after they have reappeared in fall (with Cyclamen coum) by Mary Sue Ittner. The third photo was taken by Cameron McMaster in the Overberg. The fourth photo from Jacob Uluwehi Knecht is of seeds next to a U.S. 25 cent piece (2.5 cm wide). The fifth photo shows 8-week-old seedlings sown in early 2009 by Byron Amerson.
Brunsvigia pulchra is a very handsome species formerly classified as Boophone pulchra found in Namaqualand on steep or gentle slopes in gravely or granite derived soils. Growing to 30 cm, it has 5-7 prostrate strap shaped leaves with red margins that appear after the first good winter rains and in dry years don't appear at all. It has a compact inflorescence of 30-70 deep rose-pink flowers with upright pedicels. In this regard it is different from other species that have flower stalks that radiate outwards (instead of facing upwards as this species does.) The stalks only lengthen and radiate after the flowers have faded. It flowers March to May in the hot dry fall and before the leaves. The first photo is of a 3 year old seedling, by Jacob Uluwehi Knecht.
Brunsvigia radula is a small plant (to 10 cm) with two pressed down leaves covered with straw colored bristles and pink (lemon-yellow near the base) flowers. Tepals curve in the upper half and stamens are as long as the tepals. It grows in crevices of dolomite outcrops in Namaqualand and flowers February to April. Photo 1 by Alan Horstmann. Photo 2 from Rachel Saunders shows this plant in seed.
Brunsvigia radulosa is widespread in grassland in the summer rainfall, higher altitide regions of the Eastern Cape and the Orange Free State. It has spreading prostrate leaves and pink to red flowers in January or February. The flowers are insect pollinated. Photos taken in the Eastern Cape by Cameron McMaster. The third photo shows the prostrate leaves that appear in winter, by Jacob Uluwehi Knecht. Photo #4 by Nhu Nguyen shows seeds which already have sent out their radicles. The fifth photo shows one-month-old seedlings Byron Amerson.
Brunsvigia striata (syn. Brunsvigia minor) is found on heavy or humus-rich, often stony soils. Origin is northwestern, southwestern Cape and the western Karoo, but this species is also listed for the Eastern Cape so may have a variety of rainfall patterns, but mostly winter rainfall. It grows from 15 to 35 cm and has 4 to 6 elliptical leathery flat leaves. It has 8 to 30 pale to reddish pink flowers and blooms March to April. The first photo by Bill Dijk. The second photo was taken by Andrew Harvie. The third taken by Cameron McMaster is one from a large population near Cape Infanta which is at the mouth of the Breede River in the Southern Cape. The last picture is of seeds taken by Jacob Uluwehi Knecht next to a U.S. 25 cent piece (2.5 cm wide).
Brunsvigia sp. nova is a rare dwarf species that is rumored to be formally described and named soon. It is native to the mountains along the Orange River near Pela and Pofadder in the northern Cape Province. My plants have not yet flowered but are said by others to have tight umbels of light pink to white blossoms. Here is a picture of some of mine in winter growth, by Jacob Uluwehi Knecht. The brown leaves lending scale to the miniature nature of this species are of the tree species Pyrus calleryana, the leaves of which average at about 6 cm wide.
Brunsvigia undulata is found in grassland in the Eastern Cape. It has many shiny blue-grey-green wavy leaves that are produced with the flowers. There are 35-80 deep red flowers in the inflorescence. Tepals lobes are recurved and stalks erect. It blooms January to February. It may prove to be a local form of Brunsvigia grandiflora.