Haemanthus amarylloides

Haemanthus amarylloides is from Namaqualand south to Vanrhynsdorp in the Northwest Cape. Populations grow in seasonally wet depressions in dry areas, 600 meters above sea level. This species has pink umbels with thick textured spathe valves and glabrous, erect or flat leaves. It flowers February to May and is in leaf from May to October. There are three subspecies, distinguished by the number of spathe valves, perianth length and leaf morphology.

Haemanthus amarylloides subsp. amarylloides is known from localized populations at Grootvlei in Namaqualand, along the edge of the Bokkeveld mountains near Nieuwoudtville, and Gifberg near Vanrhyns Pass. The inflorescence has 4-6 spathe valves, the perianth measures 12-19 mm long, leaves are stiff, recurved to erect, up to 40 mm wide and firm-textured. Photo 1-3 were taken by Michael Mace, show two views of the flower head, and a closeup of a single floret. His photos were taken of a bulb growing in San Jose, California, where it blooms in August, one of the earliest amaryllids to bloom in the heat of late summer.

Haemanthus amarylloides ssp. amarylloides, Michael MaceHaemanthus amarylloides ssp. amarylloides, Michael MaceHaemanthus amarylloides ssp. amarylloides, Michael Mace

Haemanthus amarylloides subsp. polyanthus occurs in large populations in Namaqualand between Springbok and the Kamiesberg. The inflorescence has (5)6-9 spathe valves, perianth measures 7-10 mm long, the segments linear, widely spreading and the leaves are flaccid. Photo 1 of the leaves was taken by Alan Horstmann. Photos 2-4 were taken by Nhu Nguyen.

Haemanthus amarylloides ssp. polyanthus leaves, Alan HorstmannHaemanthus amarylloides ssp. polyanthus, Nhu NguyenHaemanthus amarylloides ssp. polyanthus, Nhu NguyenHaemanthus amarylloides ssp. polyanthus, Nhu NguyenHaemanthus amarylloides ssp. polyanthus, Nhu Nguyen

Haemanthus amarylloides subsp. toximontanus is a threatened species found in only five locations in the Gifberg where it is restricted to seasonally wet rock ledges. According to the SANBI red list it is threatened by harvesting for horticultural purposes and altered drainage as a result of surrounding agricultural activities. The inflorescence has 4-6 spathe valves, the perianth measure 12-19 mm long, leaves adpressed to the ground, oblong-lanceolate to elliptic, 55-120 mm wide and succulent. The photo by Jacob Uluwehi Knecht is of a plant from the top of the Gifberg. The leaves are still young and eventually will be adpressed to the soil.

Haemanthus amarylloides subsp. toximontanus, Jacob Uluwehi Knecht

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Page last modified on March 26, 2014, at 07:36 PM