Family: Amaryllidaceae

Genera from this family dealt with in this forum include:
Haemanthus
Scadoxus
Strumaria
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  • Scadoxus
    Species of Scadoxus grow from bulbs or rhizomes. Bulbous species usually also have distinct rhizomes. Particularly in the non-bulbous species, the petioles (leaf stalks) overlap to produce a false stem or pseudostem, which may be purple-spotted. The leaf blades are lanceolate to ovate with a thickened midrib. The leafless flowering stem (scape) is also sometimes purple-spotted, and either appears from among the leaves or pushes through the side of the pseudostem.

    The flowers are borne at the top of the scape in the form of a many-flowered umbel. Four or more bracts are present under the umbel at first. In some species, such as Scadoxus membranaceus, these bracts persist during flowering; in other species they wither before the flowers are fully open. Individual flowers have six red to pink tepals, joined at the base to form a tube. In most species, the flowers are more-or-less upright, although in Scadoxus cyrtanthiflorus the open flowers droop and in Scadoxus nutans the top of the scape bends over so that the flowers face downwards. The filaments of the stamens arise from the base of the tepals and may be flattened. The fruit takes the form of a globose berry, orange to red when ripe.
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  • Haemanthus
    Haemanthus have from one to six leaves, ranging from broad, leathery and prostrate to narrow, crisped or succulent and erect, with a variety of surface textures from smooth to extremely hairy or even sticky. A few species such as H. unifoliatus and H. nortieri, usually produce only a single erect, broad leaf. H. coccineus and H. sanguineus were two of the first species in this genus to be described and because of their reddish flowers, gave rise to the generic name, being Greek for 'blood flower'. Haemanthus is found from Namibia through Namaqualand to the Western Cape and then through the Southern Cape to the Eastern Cape as far north as KwaZulu-Natal and the Transvaal.Haemanthus species are extremely variable in their habitat requirements - from coastal dunes to mountain tops, rocky ledges to seasonally-inundated gravel plains and bogs. Some species, such as H. canaliculatus, are to some extent fire-dependent in that they need occasional burning of their fynbos habitat to clear undergrowth in order to flower.
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