White blood lily

The genus Haemanthus contains about 60 species which is a bulb plant and is distributed from tropical Africa to South Africa.   Plants belonging to the genus Haemanthus are classified roughly into two types; one which grows in winter, as represented by White blood lily (Haemanthus albiflos), and a type which grows in summer, as represented by H. multiflorus.

White blood lily extends the thick stem among round tip succulent leaves like Rohdea japonica (Thunb.) Roth from autumn to early winter.   The stem grows from 10cm to 20cm in length, where many florets bloom among white bracts at its tip.   At the beginning, florets are bundled together to bloom then become patulous, to bloom like white brush of seven centimeters in diameter.   The stamens project out by the yellow anther are conspicuous and pistil projects more to split into three.   White blood lily is evergreen but rests in summer.

The flower resembles an eyebrow brush which is used to remove white powder makeup from the eyebrows in Japan in the past.   Capturing this fact, it was named Mayuhake-omoto, meaning an eyebrow brush-Omoto (Rohdea japonica (Thunb.) Roth).   The epithet, albiflos means "white" and is derived from being albino and the variety name, pubescens means "furry" and is derived from having small tender hairs on the flower stem.

The pink-flowered White blood lily (Haemanthus albiflos x H. coccineus) is planted in the same corner as White blood lily at Higashiyama Botanical Garden Greenhouse.

Classification Amaryllidaceae Haemanthus
Scientific name Haemanthus albiflos var. pubescens
Japanese name Mayuhake-omoto
English name White blood lily
Native locality South Africa
Ecological description Bulb plant
RDB ---
Planting place Succulent Plant Greenhouse
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