Candelabra flower

candelabra flower

candelabra flower

Fynbos Trail hikers are being treated to the beautiful candelabra flowers at the moment.

It is a spectacular bulbous geophyte that bears a head of many asymmetrical flowers 50-60mm long.  The flowers are followed by the large dry tumbling fruiting heads that detach and roll with the wind, dispersing their seeds as they go.

After flowering, about 4 large (15-23 cm long and 7-12 cm wide) tongue-shaped leaves emerge and spread out on the ground.  It is pollinated by sunbirds and is common on the coastal plains between Saldanha Bay and Knysna.

Did you know:

Brunsvigia and Haemanthus species use their leaves in the winter and spring to store up resources for flowering in the driest times of the year.  By February and March when their magnificent flowers appear, the leaves have shrivelled up and disappeared.   By flowering in the driest times of the year there is little chance of their pollen getting wet and seeds are released during the wet winter months that follow.

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