Haemanthus – Paintbrush lilies


Like symbols of defiance, the gorgeous blooms of the paintbrush lilies are putting on a show in the midst of one of the worst droughts in years.  These geophytes cope  by storing moisture in their bulbs through times of restricted water ensuring the plants needs in producing the next generation through the cycle of flowers and fruit.

29 thoughts on “Haemanthus – Paintbrush lilies

    1. They fall under that wide genus the Amaryllis – but I think there are only about 11 different species in the Haemanthus group. So spectacular when they flower in patches in the wild! Next up are those gorgeous March lilies.

  1. The first time I saw some of these in bloom along the M4, I was totally mesmerized by their vibrant beauty… stunning!

    1. They certainly are eye-catching – statement blooms! Yes the water shortage is a scary reality and we’re very aware of how vulnerable we are to the ongoing effects of drought. The limit is down to 50l per person per day. Day Zero – when the taps will be switched off has been put back to July 15 so there is a slim hope that the winter rains may arrive in time to stave off the need to queue for water collection. Meanwhile the City is bringing on line augmented supplies through aquifers, desalination and grey water reticulation. As a country South Africa is woefully unprepared for the impacts of climate change / chaos let alone keeping up with the developing needs of an expanding population. Many householders (those who can afford to) are installing rain harvesting tanks, or boreholes to supplement the municipal shortages. Thankfully the tanks which hubby and I have installed are full and should enable us to get through the next couple of dry months. But come next summer who knows whether we’ll be out of the drought cycle!

      1. It certainly is a wake up call for the world what is happening in your city. It is to be hoped that it will make people aware of how delicate the balance of nature is and be environmentally aware in the use of the dwindling resources. We have a small rain water tank and put in a spear pump in 2001 which was at the start of what became a 10 year drought for our area. The rains came in 2010 with major flooding and,at the moment, seems to have evened out. But who knows how long that will last

      2. So so pertinent – how will the dwindling resources be protected and conserved? We’re already experiencing an acceleration of climate change chaos Seeing excellent articles coming from Melbourne’s drought experience and in future water storage security. It’s also interesting to note the change in usage and citizens’ proactive role in efforts to rain harvest and provide for one’s own needs.

      3. For the 10 years of drought over here we were all implored to make every drop count and save water etc. but then when the drought ended the council were horrified at the drop in their income from lower water usage. So they then started telling us “you can now hose down your drives, wash the house, clean the car and so on” it became all about revenue and they forgot the save water mantra….

    1. Thanks for the comment Atreyee. Isn’t marvellous when nature finds form to outwit the odds! The geophytes particularly are looking stunning, now the turn of the March Lilies which are blooming profusely in shades of pink 🙂

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