Amaryllids of Southern Africa


Nerine are endemic to Southern Africa. There are some thirty or so species of this beautiful genus. These include both summer and winter growing species. This genus can be found across the southern Africa continent in many varied and diverse habitats. Many Nerine species colonise an area by repeated flowering and seed sowing year after year, undisturbed by man. 

Many new and interesting hybrids have been created in this genus. Of particular interest are the Nerine sarniensis and N. bowdenii hybrids that have been bred and propagated across the entire globe. What a wonderful bulb the Nerine is! Generally easy to cultivate, dying down when finished it's cycle, rewarding us with many blooms reminding us that they are still there in the same spot  and quite happy to share their beauty with as annually.

Nerine are by far one of the most popular bulbs in the world. Foliage and flower types vary considerably. One can easily landscape with different Nerine species. Nerine bowdenii with strap-like medium green leaves at the back row, N. krigei with it's twisted foliage in the middle row and N. masoniorum  with thread like foliage at the front row just for example. 



Pictured left  is Nerine angulata from Mt. Thomas, RSA. An easy to grow Nerine, this one can handle a range of conditions, both in soil and water content. It is a very versatile species indeed. Growing up here in the mountains, it looks so serene waving around in the breeze. What an excellent way to spend the day, fining such beauties as these high above the worries of the world.

Order Wild Bulbs of the Eastern Cape disk

Another interesting habitat of Nerine angulata, below,  is by the water near Cathcart, RSA. Seen here along the banks, it is obvious that this species can handle lots of water! Well, at least form can anyway. And herein lies one of the secrets to cultivating species bulbs. Find out where they come from and what conditions are they in. Soil, rainfall and position of the bulb are all important factors when cultivating species. 




Left - Nerine filamentosa, one of the more delicate and splendid Nerine species. The bloom look like some one has taken to them with the scissors and then twirled the petals back. 

After the blooms grows thread like foliage, much the same as other in this group like N. masoniorum, N. filifolia and  N. frithii.


Below, a rare and not too often seen from of Nerine. N. laticoma ssp. sandersonii. Not the best image sorry. Still, one can see that this is a truly eligible candidate for breeding potential. Large leaves, tall peduncle and showy bloom. All the necessaries for a parent or pollen plant. This plant closely resemble Nerine laticoma in growth.

Order Wild Bulbs of the Eastern Cape disk


Left - Nerine platypetala, a recently discovered Nerine species. This species is semi aquatic, found growing in shallow pools of water in it's native habitat.




  A disk of images and cultivation information called 'East Cape Bulbs' is available from Cameron McMaster. This disk is a highly informative and extremely pictorial collection, captured by Cameron whilst collecting seeds out in the field. Cameron McMaster is one of South Africa's most noted naturalists, whose enthusiasm shines through on this information available. His love of the plants and the surrounding environment resounds through this disk. I consider myself very lucky to have a friendship with such a dedicated and personable gentleman.


Order Wild Bulbs of the Eastern Cape disk  Home