South African bulbs in the Mountains House

The Alpine & Woodland team have reorganised one of the raised benches in the Mountains House of the Glasshouse Range to collect the alpine plants into geographic areas of origin. At the moment the South African bulbs are real show-stoppers.
A group of unidentified pineapple lilies, Eucomis sp are really spectacular, the lime green swelling ovaries surrounded by five stamens, the filaments of each flaring at the base to connect into a purple corona. The stamens are beautifully highlighted by the white, purple-edged, waxy petals behind.

Nearby are the almost luminous flowers Haemanthus albiflos, like upturned old fashioned shaving brushes. In complete contrast of from are the very glamorous Guernsey lilies, Nerine sarniensis, with strongly recurved, wavy and glittering petals in a vibrant orange, revealing prominent anthers. The commonname of Guernsey lily arises the probably apocryphal story that boxes of the bulbs en route from South Africa to Holland floated away from a sinking ship in 1659 and took root and flourished on the shores of Guernsey in the Channel Islands.

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