Greek haima – blood, anthos – flower, referring to the blood-red flowers.
Perennial herbs with large fleshy bulbs. Leaves 2(4, 6), strap-shaped to tongue-shaped, leathery to succulent, deciduous to evergreen, sometimes hairy, typically few and pressed to the ground surface, midrib absent. Flower clusters dense, of 4-150 shaving-brush-like flowers on a solid stalk with 4 to many spathe valves. Flowers regular with a short tube, red or white, the lobes longer than the tube and erect or bent back. Corona absent. Ovary inferior with 3 chambers, each containing 2 ovules. Fruit a berry.
Grown mostly as H. coccineus for the spectacular crimson, pink or white brush-like flowers. This genus was once larger but the tropical species were transferred to Scadoxus, Haemanthus coming mostly from the winter-rainfall region.
Rhizome absent; leaves thick, 2-ranked and without obvious midribs.
22 species from the Cape of South Africa.
Source: (2005). Amaryllidaceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 5. Flowering plants. Monocotyledons. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.