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This seems to be a very variable species. It is found, according to Snijman (1984), from "the Bokkeveld mountains near Nieuwoudtville in the west to the Hantamsberg near Calvinia in the east, bounded by Loeriesfontein in the north and the Tanqua Karoo in the south."
From Calvinia (#936)
The form exemplified by Accession #368, with strap-like leaves, has inflorescences that spread and are generally lighter pink in color. The form from Calvinia, Accession #936, with more spatulate-shaped leaves, has a more closed inflorescence and deeper pink coloration. Without many more collections across the entire range of barkerae, I can't say whether these differences are significant or not.
Haemanthus barkerae from Calvinia in Leaf - Obovate
Haemanthus barkerae #368 in Leaf - Lorate
The leaves vary from long, narrowly lorate to broadly obovate with a narrow base; they have red to brown bars on the abaxial surface near the base.
Haemanthus barkerae Bulbs
Accession #368.C which forms offsets
The bulb is round in cross section; some of the forms produce offsets abundantly, especially the lorate-leafed forms. The obovate-leafed form seems to produce no offsets.
Haemanthus barkerae Fruit (Accession #368)
Note the characteristic wrinkling of the fruit shell. The seeds inside these fruits are medium-sized for Haemanthus and dark purple in color.
The two extremes of the leaf forms may indicate that barkerae is in the process of splitting into two separate species. I do see some slight differences in the inflorescences of the two leaf forms, but it would still be interesting to look more carefully at the different forms of barkerae.
D. Snijman (1984) "A Revision of The Genus Haemanthus L. (Amaryllidaceae)" Journal of South African Botany, Suppl. vol. 12. Trustees of the National Botanic Gardens of South Africa, publishers.
Last updated 13 February 2013
© Copyright 2013 by James E. Shields. All rights reserved.