From Greek mythology, Nereis was the name of a sea nymph.
Perennial herbs with solid stems, the bulbs sometimes long-necked. Leaves thin to strap-like, usually absent at flowering but appearing soon after. Flowers irregular, 4-20 or so per umbel, long-lived, with 2 persistent spathes, the lobes widespread, wavy-edged and with a short tube at the base, slightly fragrant; autumn. Stamens united at the base, unequal, attached to the base of the tube and sometimes with appendages at the base. Ovary inferior, 3-chambered with mostly (1-)4 or so ovules per chamber. Fruit a capsule containing red-green seeds.
Popular garden plant usually with pink flowers with many cultivars and several hybrids, some of uncertain parentage.
Closely related to Brunsvigia.
Early breeding of nerines was done by Lionel Rothschild at Exbury, Southampton, UK based on N. sarniensis; later experiments were carried out at Borde Hill, Sussex.
Seed or bulb offsets, tissue culture.
Cut flowers are long-lasting.
Flowers fewer than 20 per umbel; perianth tube to 5 mm long, the lobes bending away and separated, often with wavy margins.
30 species from South Africa.
Traub (1967), Forbes (1973), Meerow (1983), Smithers (1984), Smee (1984, cultivars, later ones in Plant Life).
Source: (2005). Narcissus. 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.