Haemanthus L.

Blood Lily

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.

Snijman (1984).

Source: Spencer, R.; Hay, A.; Ashburner, W. (2005). Amaryllidaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 5. Flowering plants. Monocotyledons. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Lilianae
order      Asparagales
family       Amaryllidaceae
Higher taxa
Subordinate taxa
species         Haemanthus coccineus L.