Candelabra Flower Brunsvigia orientalis
Order: Asparagales. Family: Amaryllidaceae
© okieBrunsvigia orientalis
growing on the roadside in the Western Cape
The plant makes big flat leaves which spread over the ground. These leaves dry up and fall off in late summer, after which the flower appears.
Beautiful flower head
Close-up of individual flower
After a couple of weeks, the flower head dries up and becomes papery, it breaks off and rolls in the wind dispersing seeds.Description
Bulbous perennial, 40-50 cm, with 5 or 6 prostrate leaves that are dry at flowering. It prefers sandy soil conditions and makes a huge underground bulb which can grow as big as a football. Flowers emerge between February and March. The flowerhead forms a huge sphere, up to 600 mm in diameter, with between 20 to 80 flowers. These are large, 6-tepalled, pink to red and are soon followed by the 3-sided seed capsules. The leaves appear from about May, after the flowerhead has dried and broken off. There are generally 6 large tongue-shaped leaves spread flat on the ground. The margins are often fringed. Leaves start to die down from about October and the bulb lies dormant during summer.Distribution
South African endemic to the Western Cape, from southern Namaqualand to the Cape Peninsula and Plettenberg Bay.Habitat
On sandy lowland coastal areas, sandy flats along the coast, riverbeds or inland sand plumes in predominantly low altitude winter rainfall areas of the Western Cape.