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 bosmaniae (including Brunsvigia appendiculata) is found in the northwest and southwest Cape and in the Roggeveld on open flats, coastal sand, loam, or granite soils. It is a winter grower variable in size, growing up to 20 cm high. This species has 6 to 8 dark green, oblong, pressed to the ground, leaves with red margins. There are 20 to 70 pale to deep pink flowers in a dense round head. It flowers March to May. Photo 1 was taken by Bill Dijk who grows these very successfully in New Zealand. Photo 2 was taken by Mary Sue Ittner of leaves at the Karoo Desert NBG. Photo 3-5 were taken by Nhu Nguyen of plants grown by Jacob Uluwehi Knecht. Photo 4-5 show this species compared with a close relative, B. herrei.
Photos 1-2 of the leaves taken by Mary Sue Ittner and Cameron McMaster in the month of September near Nieuwoudtville. Photos 3-6 from Rachel Saunders taken near Nieuwoudtville in the Bokkeveld Plateau April 2011.
Below is a series of close up of the florets, showing the variability of this species. These were grown from seed purchased from Silverhill Seeds by Angelo Porcelli.
Brunsvigia comptonii grows on gravel flats and slopes in the Little Karoo and the western Karoo. It grows to 5 in. (12 cm) and has flowers that are pale to deep pink with dark veins and flared upward. It flowers in summer (Feb-March in the southern hemisphere.) The first photo by Bill Dijk. The next three photos of flowers, leaves, and fruit were taken on a farm in the Ceres Karoo by Cameron McMaster who writes that this species produces very dainty little flowers in a tough dry environment where rainfall averages 100 mm a year when it falls.
Brunsvigia elandsmontana Snijman is a compact species with plants growing to 20 cm high. Bulbs are about 4 cm in diameter and the 4-6 dark green pressed to the ground leaves are dry at flowering. Margins are pink, crisped. The 6 to 18 bright pink flowers are in a compact head. Stamens and style are nearly straight, slightly spreading, almost equaling the tepals. This species is found in pebbly soils in lowland fynbos and renosterveld in the Western Cape. It flowers from March to May.
Brunsvigia grandiflora is a species that grows to 80 cm. and is found scattered in grassland, at 1200-3200 meters in the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, and the Free State. An important feature of this species is the upright leaves that are quite undulate or wavy. Although it is from a summer rainfall area leaves don't appear until late summer early fall. It has 30 to 60 light to dark pink flowers in a spreading inflorescence and blooms from January to March in the wild. The leaves persist through the winter and finally dry off in spring. Photos by Bill Dijk and Mary Sue Ittner. Plants grown in northern California bloom November to December, with or after the leaves reappear.
Photos below were taken by Cameron McMaster in the Eastern Cape illustrating flowers, a locust hopper on the flowers, leaves, and fruit.
The photos below where taken at the UC Botanical Garden November 2008. Photo 1 was contributed by the UC Botanical Garden. Photos 2-5 were taken by Nhu Nguyen showing flowers, leaves, and a dried inflorescence.
Brunsvigia gregaria is a species found on sandstone or clay flats or slopes in the Cape (southern to eastern parts). This species grows to 40 cm high. The 30 to 50 flowers on straight, spreading pedicels are clear pink to red and appear in fall before the 4-8 smooth flat hairy leaves that are pressed to the ground and have a red or pale margin.The first two photos are of two color forms by Bill Dijk. The last four were taken by Cameron McMaster in the Eastern Cape.
The photo below from Mary Sue Ittner shows the bulb lying on a 1 cm grid.