Cyrtanthus Species Four

Cyrtanthus species P-Z are found on this wiki page.


Cyrtanthus Hybrids - Cyrtanthus A-C - Cyrtanthus D-J - Cyrtanthus K-O - Cyrtanthus index


Cyrtanthus sanguineus is ideally suited to cultivation. This variable, very floriferous species is evergreen and blooms in mid-summer. Flower colour varies from bright pink to orange-red; well grown bulbs often produce two stem each. This species is particular suitable for hanging baskets. It is reported to be easier to get to flower than some of the species. The first two photos were taken by Bill Dijk and the third by Mary Sue Ittner, is a close-up of the flower, blooming August 2004 for the first time from seed purchased from Silverhill Seeds. The larger bulbs were later attacked by the Narcissus Bulb Fly leaving behind only small offsets that had yet to bloom even five years later.

Cyrtanthus sanguineus, Bill DijkCyrtanthus sanguineus, Bill DijkCyrtanthus sanguineus, Mary Sue Ittner

Photographs by David Pilling. Photo 1 is of Silverhill seed on a 10 mm grid in July 2008; 2 and 3 are of the first time the resulting plant bloomed in September 2013, shown in a 4" side pot; although the seed germinated easily, I lost all the plants except the one shown to frost. Photo 4 shows the bulb in October 2014 with two big offsets and some tiny ones; the ruler is marked in inches.

Cyrtanthus sanguineus seed, July 2008, David PillingCyrtanthus sanguineus, 27th September 2013, David PillingCyrtanthus sanguineus, 27th September 2013, David PillingCyrtanthus sanguineus, 24th October 2014, David Pilling

The photos below were taken in habitat by Bob Rutemoeller and Mary Sue Ittner in the Eastern Cape. The first photo shows Cameron McMaster who had climbed up a rock face to photograph the plants.

Cyrtanthus sanguineus, Cameron McMaster, photo by Bob RutemoellerCyrtanthus sanguineus habitat, Mary Sue IttnerCyrtanthus sanguineus, photo by Bob RutemoellerCyrtanthus sanguineus, photo by Bob RutemoellerCyrtanthus sanguineus, Mary Sue IttnerCyrtanthus sanguineus, Mary Sue Ittner

A more robust and larger colour variation form of Cyrtanthus sanguineus, is sometimes called Cyrtanthus sanguineus var. glaucophyllus. (note: This does not seem to be a published botanical name.) I have never come across this vigourus and attractive plant before, which is easy to grow and all the plants we have grown have come true from seed. Photos by Bill Dijk.

Cyrtanthus sanguineus, form known as var. glaucophyllus, Bill DijkCyrtanthus sanguineus, form known as var.glaucophyllus, Bill Dijk

Cyrtanthus smithiae is a deciduous, white or pale pink striped flowered summer-growing plant that has very attractive "corkscrew" foliage. The inflorescence appears promptly in early summer together with the new foliage. This is quite an easy species to grow provided it is kept absolutely dry in winter, and watered rather infrequently in summer. Photos by Cameron McMaster in habitat in the Eastern Cape showing variations in different populations, including the fourth one of an especially large plant.The last photo was taken by Mary Sue Ittner January 2010 near Kaboega, a very dry area in the Eastern Cape, of a plant now in seed.

Cyrtanthus smithiae, Cameron McMasterCyrtanthus smithiae, Cameron McMasterCyrtanthus smithiae, Cameron McMasterCyrtanthus smithiae, Cameron McMasterCyrtanthus smithiae, Cameron McMasterCyrtanthus smithiae in seed, Mary Sue Ittner

Photo 1 below by Byron Amerson shows 3 month-old seedlings; note that these young plants are already showing the characteristic spiral leaves typical of this species. Photo 2 was taken by Nhu Nguyen of a 3 year-old seeding with its elegantly spiral leaves.

Cyrtanthus smithiae seedlings, Byron AmersonCyrtanthus smithiae, Nhu Nguyen

Cyrtanthus sp. Pictures below are apparently of a new species. Text about this from David Victor who writes: I've recently been in contact with Mark Hyde who is producing an on-line Flora of Zimbabwe. He has recently collected a Cyrtanthus in the Bvumba Mountains of the Eastern Highlands (against the Mozambique border). Whilst there are similar plants in the herbarium marked Cyrtanthus sanguineus (Lindl.) Walp. he does not think that this plant is that species, but does not have any alternative other than the possibility that it is a new species. Can anyone confirm the identity of the plant, please? He says that it is a "small pink flowered herb, with 1 or less often 2 flowers, which appear before the leaves in August or September. Bracts 2, petals 6, style lobes 3. Stamens 6, 3 lower in tube than the other 3. Ovary inferior. It grows on dry rocky slopes in Brachystegia woodland on serpentine hills.

Cyrtanthus, new species, David VictorCyrtanthus, new species, David Victor

Cyrtanthus spiralis is very rare in the wild and one of the most difficult members to cultivate successfully over an extended period. It is usually evergreen in cultivation but needs to be kept almost bone-dry in summer, and given very infrequent waterings in winter. Coarse river sand or gravel must be incorporated into the growing medium. It has nicely coloured red flowers and is one of my favourites. The first photo by Bill Dijk; photos 2-4 from Alessandro Marinello.

Cyrtanthus spiralis, Bill DijkCyrtanthus spiralis, Alessandro MarinelloCyrtanthus spiralis, Alessandro MarinelloCyrtanthus spiralis, Alessandro Marinello

Photos below from Hans Joschko.

Cyrtanthus spiralis, Hans JoschkoCyrtanthus spiralis, Hans JoschkoCyrtanthus spiralis, Hans JoschkoCyrtanthus spiralis, Hans Joschko

Cyrtanthus staadensis. This rare, floriferous plant deserves wider horticultural attention. Its bright orange-red flowers with their distinctive, dilated perianth tubes are carried on long peduncles or stalks, making it an ideal cut flower. This species prefers a sunny aspect and tends to be evergreen in cultivation. Photo by Bill Dijk.

Cyrtanthus staadensis, Bill DijkCyrtanthus staadensis, Bill Dijk

Cyrtanthus stenanthus This species is found in damp grassland in KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, and the Free State. Leaves are present or absent at flowering. Flowers are red, orange, or yellow, turned to one side, slender, slightly contracted at the throat.

Cyrtanthus stenanthus var. major This variety has yellow flowers. Photo by Bill Dijk.

Cyrtanthus stenanthus var. major, Bill Dijk

Cyrtanthus stenanthus var. stenanthus has reddish to reddish green flowers. Photos 1-2 were taken by Alessandro Marinello of a form from Southern Sekhukhuneland in South Africa. Photos 3-5 were taken by Nhu Nguyen. These flowers started out the same color as Alessandro's but slowly turned lighter in about a month. It is a long blooming variety and produces a fragrance similar to synthetic banana throughout the blooming time.

Cyrtanthus stenanthus var. stenanthus, Alessandro MarinelloCyrtanthus stenanthus var. stenanthus, Alessandro MarinelloCyrtanthus stenanthus var. stenanthus, Nhu NguyenCyrtanthus stenanthus var. stenanthus, Nhu NguyenCyrtanthus stenanthus var. stenanthus, Nhu Nguyen

Cyrtanthus suaveolens is a dainty (to 25 cm tall) maroon species with recurved lobes endemic to the Amatola Mountains of the Eastern Cape and flowering mid October to mid November. It has rather distinctive leaves which are dark green with purplish margins and midribs and and the seed capsules when they formed are also tinged with purple. It adapts well to cultivation. Photos by Cameron McMaster.

Cyrtanthus suaveolens, Cameron McMasterCyrtanthus suaveolens, Cameron McMaster

Cyrtanthus tuckii is a species from the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal that is difficult in cultivation. It is found in grassland and wet areas. Photo #1 by Cameron McMaster showing this one blooming after a fire. Photos 2-4 taken January 2010 by Bob Rutemoeller and Mary Sue Ittner at Naude's Nek.

Cyrtanthus tuckii after a fire, Cameron McMasterCyrtanthus tuckii, Naude's Nek, Bob RutemoellerCyrtanthus tuckii, Naude's Nek, Bob RutemoellerCyrtanthus tuckii, Naude's Nek, Mary Sue Ittner

Cyrtanthus tuckii var. viridilobus has green flower lobes. Photo by Bill Dijk.

Cyrtanthus tuckii var. viridilobus, Bill Dijk

Cyrtanthus ventricosus is found on south facing sandstone slopes in fynbos. It has bright shiny red nodding flowers. It flowers December to May in the wild, after fire. Blooming in a burned area near Napier in the Overberg and photographed by Cameron McMaster who has captured the sheen of the beautiful flowers.

Cyrtanthus ventricosus after a fire, Cameron McMasterCyrtanthus ventricosus, Cameron McMasterCyrtanthus ventricosus, Cameron McMaster

Much of the information about these species and how to grow them furnished by Bill Dijk and Cameron McMaster.


Cyrtanthus Hybrids - Cyrtanthus A-C - Cyrtanthus D-J - Cyrtanthus K-O - Cyrtanthus index


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Page last modified on October 23, 2014, at 06:15 PM