The Amaryllis Family: Genus Nerine

Here are a few more species of Nerine.

Nerine forbesii Copyright (c) 2003 by Shields Gardens Ltd.  All rights reserved. Nerine forbesii is native to Swaziland. This bulb came to me from Den Wilson. It is from stock originally collected in Swaziland. the flower is about 65 mm across the face, tip to tip. The leaves are up to 16 mm wide. Peduncle is 20 cm high and pedicels are about 45 mm long. The leaves look quite similar to those on unbloomed plants of N. laticoma that I have. The flowers also resemble pictures of laticoma blooms. the short pedicels suggest it isn't pure laticoma, and the bulb is growing and blooming in a 5½" square plastic pot. What do you think?

Nerine platypetala Copyright (c) 2003 by Shields Gardens Ltd.  All rights reserved. Nerine platypetala is native to southern Mpumalanga, where it grows in permanent marshes. Nerine platypetala grown from seed from South Africa. Three out of 16 bulbs are sending up scapes. The flowers are 40 to 50 mm across the face, tip to tip. The peduncle is ca 40 cm tall, with pedicels 70 mm long. There are 7 to 14 florets in the umbels of the two plant in bloom now. The narrow, erect, grass-like leaves are about 3 to 4 mm wide and 20 to 25 cm long. These plants are in 5.5" square pots that sit in a pan of water most of the year. They are briefly leafless in winter, when they are in the greenhouse.

[More Nerine species]              [List of Nerine species]

Hybrid Nerine

Nerine gibsonii This hybrid Nerine is a small summer-growing variety. It is growing happily as 4 or 5 bulbs in a 5½" square plastic pot. It blooms reliably now each summer in late August. It has thread-like leaves and its bulb has a distinct neck. The plant and flowers closely resemble N. filifolia. Indeed, the plant shown here might be that species; however, it has a smooth, hairless peduncle. For a close-up view of the flowers, click on "More" See more information on this topic

Sir Peter Smithers spent many years hybridizing nerines. His collection was transferred to the Rothschild estate in England when he retired from active hybridizing. He has kindly allowed us to show some of his work here.

Proceed to Smithers Nerine page

Other Sources of Information

Kirstenbosch Gardening Series: Grow Nerines, by Graham Duncan, pub. by National Botanical Institute, Kirstenbosch, Private Bag X7, Claremont 7735, South Africa. RHS Manual of Bulbs, John Bryan and Mark Griffiths, Eds., Timber Press (1995).
Bulbous Plants of Southern Africa, by Neil du Plessis and Graham Duncan, Tafelberg Pub. Ltd., Cape Town (1989).
"Nerines in Southern Africa", by Rachel Saunders, in HERBERTIA, vol. 52, p. 88 (1997).
Cape Bulbs, by Richard L. Doutt, Timber Press (1994).
Bulbs, Revised Edition, by John E. Bryan, Timber Press, Portland (2002).

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James E. Shields,

Last revised: 26 August 2004

© Copyright 2003, 2004 by James E. Shields. All rights reserved.