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Origin and Habitat: Despite a fairly wide distribution, Haemanthus carneus is extremely rare and has been collected from only a few scattered sites in the Somerset East area of the Eastern Cape (Somerset East and Grahamstown), as well as from Fauresmith in the Orange Free State and near Estcourt in Natal.
Altitude range: It come from high areas from 300-1200 meters.
Habitat and ecology. Haemanthus carneus grows in summer rainfall areas, in small clumps in the shelter in Acacia thicket and grassland and among rocks. The lower altitude plants have lighter flowers and are distinctly more hairy than those that occur in the open grassland near the top of the mountain. These bulbs begin to grow during mid or late summer. At this time of year they are experience the heat of summer and cool nights, at a time when autumn is imminent. (Approximately a month or two away). They then grow vigorously and develop full leaves to take advantage of the waning summer sun. By the early spring the bulbs have reached their peak in the growing season, Seed has usually been set and dispersed by this time also. During some seasons the leaves can persist until late spring or early summer.
Haemanthus carneus Ker Gawl.
Bot. Reg. 6: t. 509 1821.
- Haemanthus carneus Ker Gawl.
- Haemanthus roseus Link
ENGLISH: Pink paint brush
ARABIC ( لعربية ): زهرة الدم اللحمية
Description: Haemanthus carneus is a small perennial, geophytic, bulbous plant xx cm tall with widely spreading umbel (flowerheads) of pink flowers popping up from underground bulbs in late summer. H. carneus has the same growth pattern as Haemanthus humilis, but it has filaments which are included within the perianth and are only half as long as the segments at anthesis. However one wonders whether H. cameus should be considered separate from H. humilis on the basis of the small difference mentioned above, and often it is regarded as part of H. humuls.
Derivation of specific name: 'carneus': Latin 'flesh-coloured'.
Bulb: Their tunics are more or less equal with horizontal leaf-scars.
Leaves: Only two or three, usually flat on the ground rarely arched. In the wild the leaves emerge just after the flowers (January to March) and persist to late spring.
Inflorescences: Peduncles show quite a variation in length from 6-27 cm long appearing with or immediately before the new leaves. Umbel loose, spherical. Spathes 5-7 narrowly lanceolate. 13-20 long, 2-5 mm wide.
Flowers: Pink with stamens included well within the perianth: the only known Haemanthus with this feature. Perianth-tube 2.5-3.5 mm long, slightly broader above. Perianth-lobes 8.5-10 mm. Stamens less than half perianth-lobe length.
Notes: The stamens are less than half perianth-lobe length. This distinctive and somewhat unique character distinguishes Haemanthus carneus from all other species.
Bibliography: Major references and further lectures
1) Deirdré Snijman “A Revision of the Genus Haemanthus L. (Amaryllidaceae)” National Botanic Gardens of South Africa, 1984
2) Pacific Bulb Society contributors "Haemanthus carneus" Pacific Bulb Society Wiki <http://www.pacificbulbsociety.org> version February 11, 2014. Web. 11 January 2017.
3) Jim Shields' Garden Notes “The Genus Haemanthus” retrieved from http://www.shieldsgardens.com/Blogs/Garden/201112.html 11 January 2017.
4) Cameron and Rhoda McMaster “An assortment of Haemanthus” retrieved from http://pza.sanbi.org/sites/default/files/info_library/haemanthus_pdf.pdf 11 January 2017.
5) Botanical Register t. 509 (1821)
6) Botanical Magazine. 3373 (1834).
7) Stuart Max Walters “European Garden Flora: A Manual for the Identification of Plants Cultivated in Europe, Both Out-of-Doors and Under Glass” Cambridge University Press, 1984
8) Mainly Amaryllids Garden “Other List Bulbs” http://www.mainlyamaryllidsgarden.com/othernotes.php Web. 11 January 2017.
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