Haemanthus albiflos

Haemanthus albiflos is a particularly desirable and easy to grow garden subject equally at home in deep shade on forest floors, on rocky sea shores exposed to salt spray, in coastal dune forest, on cliff faces in hot river valleys where it clings in large clumps to crevasses in full sun, and in shady places on high altitude inland mountain ranges. It is evergreen and multiplies vegetatively, as well as from seed. The attractive white flowers appear in May in its native habitat and the ripe seeds are carried in equally attractive clusters of scarlet fruit. Most people grow this species in part sun. If the plants get too much sun, they will look chlorotic, although still bloom very nicely (see the photos from the UC Botanical Garden below). This species doesn't appear to require a dry winter rest to bloom.

Photo 1 from Cameron McMaster shows plants growing on the Kat River in the Eastern Cape. Photo 2 from Andrew Harvie shows this species growing on the coastal sand dunes at the mouth of the Kei River in the Eastern Cape.

Haemanthus albiflos, Kat River, Cameron McMasterHaemanthus albiflos leaves, Kei River mouth, Andrew Harvie

The photos below show plants in cultivation. Photos 1-3 were taken by Cameron McMaster and photos 4-5 were taken by Byron Amerson showing a 4-week-old seedling sown in early 2009 from seed supplied by Silverhill.

Haemanthus albiflos, fruit, Cameron McMasterHaemanthus albiflos, Cameron McMasterHaemanthus albiflos, Cameron McMasterHaemanthus albiflos seedling, Byron AmersonHaemanthus albiflos seedling, Byron Amerson

Photos 1-3 from Mary Sue Ittner shows plants grown from seed blooming in three different years in late fall-early winter in Northern California. Photos 4-5 were taken by Nhu Nguyen at the UC Botanical Garden where this plant grows in a very sunny spot. The leaves tend to burn out a bit because of the full sun, but the plants take refuge from the rocks although the leaves don't look beautiful, they bloom marvelously.

Haemanthus albiflos, Mary Sue IttnerHaemanthus albiflos, Mary Sue IttnerHaemanthus albiflos, Mary Sue IttnerHaemanthus albiflos, UC Botanical Garden, Nhu NguyenHaemanthus albiflos, UC Botanical Garden, Nhu Nguyen

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Page last modified on January 04, 2014, at 09:44 PM