Lanaria is a monotypic genus of flowering plants containing a single species, Lanaria lanata, in the monotypic family Lanariaceae. This species could be mistaken to belong to the Haemodoraceae family, but Lanaria lanata flowers have 6 anthers and flowers in the Haemodoraceae family only have three.
Lanaria lanata (L.) T.Durand & Schinz, commonly known as lambtails, grows from 30 to 80 cm and occurs on clay and sandstone soils and is endemic to the southern coast of South Africa (Bainskloof to Grahamstown) where it is associated with the fynbos belt. The stiff, ribbed leaves arise from a rootstock that is a short rhizome covered with hard fibers and are evergreen, channelled, and finely serrate along the margins. When not in flower the leaves can be mistaken for grass. The densely woolly, white stalk and heads enclose purplish-pink distinctive star-shaped honey scented flowers. Flowering occurs in summer (November to January) and is profuse following fires and gradually tapers off in the years that follow. Fruits are unuusual, remaining concealed within the wooly perianth and contain a single large, glossy black seed. The first photo from the book Plants of the Klein Karoo courtesy of Jan and Anne Lise Schutte-Vlok. The second photo was taken by Rod Saunders. The last two photos were taken by Paul Venter in fynbos between Nature's Valley and The Crags, Cape Province, South Africa under a CC BY-SA 4.0 license.