Mystery plant identified

You may recall in my recent post entitled Spring or Autumn, I had purchased a plant which I thought was an orchid at a local garage sale. Having scoured the gardening books, I could not identify it. However, with the help of some of plant loving friends, we have a definitive name. It is Haemanthus albiflos – or as the name suggests, blood lily, the albiflos denotes the colour – in this case white. A few friends of mine went to that trouble to taking the photos to the Secretary of the Royal Horticultural Society of Victoria who declared it, the white variety, was quite rare and generally expensive! It would develop a yellow centre and produce red berries – apparently it drew quite a crowd! Here are the latest photos as it sits on our back deck.

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The horticultural notes also told us it was of South African origin and needed well drained soil and kept well watered in summer, allowing a rest period. That explains why it flowered when I left it under a large tree and forgot about it! Will survive to a minimum of 10-15 degrees. Considering we get down to zero Celsius here on the Mount, I will have to keep it sheltered.

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Compared to this early photo, it is blooming quite well as our begin temperatures begin to drop. Quite an unusual specimen.