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Cyrtanthus

Family: Amaryllidaceae

Original habitat: South and eastern Africa

Flower color: Ranges from red to pink to white

Flowering period: Varies according to species: from early spring to fall

Plant height: 20 inches

Planting depth: 2 – 3 inches

Planting distance: 5 – 6 inches

Type of bulb: true bulb

Light requirements: Can tolerate sun

Derived from the Greek words kyrtos (crooked) and anthos (flower), this name describes the entire inflorescence with the flowers hanging from their stem. There are 40 known species of this genus.

Applications: The richer the soil, the larger and more beautiful the flower and plant. Since the plant reacts well to receiving fertilizers during its growth period, it is advisable to administer these in liquid form only during that time. In areas where frost occurs, it is better to plant the bulbs in pots that can then be kept in a frost-free location during the winter.

Various species

There are about 40 known species of Cyrtanthus. Here are some of the more familiar ones:

  • Cyrtanthus angustifolius: This plant was introduced from its original habitat in the southwestern part of South Africa’s Cape Province in 1773. The leaves, usually forming along with the flowers, are narrow and up to 18 inches in length. The flowers are borne on a hollow stem that is reddish underneath and can reach a length of 12 inches. The flowers are reddish-orange and appear in late summer and early autumn. This species is not suitable for growing in colder regions.
  • Cyrtanthus contractus, one of the most widely distributed flowers in South Africa, was first described in 1898. It grows to a height of 16 inches and usually blooms in the spring and early summer. Its flowers are pink to a somewhat redder color.
  • Cyrtanthus falcatus blooms in early spring, the color of its flowers being between red and pink with a trace of yellow on the outside of the corolla tube.
  • Cyrtanthus galpinii
  • Cyrtanthus huttonii
  • Cyrtanthus mackenii
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