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Haemanthus humilis hirsutus grows and blooms in summer. In cultivation, the blooms seem to come before the leaves appear, but occasionally the leaves will appear with the inflorescence. The leaves are wide, spanning 3 to 4 inches in a blomm size plant. The hair may cover both surfaces as well as the peduncle. The flowers may be white or pink, but white seems to predominate among the cultivated specimens I've seen.
Like its sibling subspecies, Haemanthus humilis humilis, Haemanthus humilis hirsutus is native to the eastern regions of South Africa. Whereas humilis humilis is native to wide areas of central and southeastern South Africa, and is found particularly in the Eastern Cape Province, Haemanthus humilis hirsutus is found mainly in the northeastern region, the High Veld and the Drakensberg Escarpment of Mpumalanga and the midlands of KwaZulu-Natal province. These are all summer-rainfall areas.
The subspecies hirsutus tends to bloom later than ssp. humilis, humilis blooming in July and hirsutus sometimes waiting until well into August. Its leaves also appear later. The leaves persist (in the greenhouse) well into winter, lasting sometimes well into January.
Last updated 21 August 2011
© Copyright 2011 by James E. Shields. All rights reserved.