Haemanthus albiflos Jacq.
Paint Brush, White Paint Brush, White Blood Lily, Shaving Brush Plant, Dappled Snowbrush
Diacles ciliaris, Diacles pubescens, Haemanthus albomaculatus, Haemanthus intermedius, Haemanthus leucanthus, Haemanthus pubescens, Haemanthus virescens, Haemanthus virescens f. albiflos
Haemanthus albiflos is an evergreen to semi-evergreen bulbous plant with thickset fleshy strap-like leaves that vary in color from light to dark grayish-green. It is up to 12 inches (30 cm) tall when in flower. The leaves often have a lovely rosy-pink glow and a layer of fine yellow dots, especially when young. They are up to 16 inches (40 cm) long and 4.4 inches (11 cm) wide. Flowers are small, white, appear in dense umbels, followed by a cluster of large red berries.
USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 45 °F (+7.2 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Paint Brush is an ideal plant for a shady rock garden or for difficult parts of the garden receiving poor light, where it can be left to multiply for many years.
It is one of the easiest of all the Haemanthus species to grow. It requires a dappled shade position and likes to remain undisturbed for many years once established. The soil must be well aerated. A suggested medium is equal parts of well-rotted compost, coarse river sand, and loam. Plant the greenish bulbs with the upper half exposed, and the thick fleshy roots spread out horizontally over the soil.
It also makes an excellent subject for plastic or terracotta containers, and these need not be deep as the roots naturally spread out horizontally. Pots of Paint Brush can be grown very successfully on a shady veranda, and it is also suitable as an indoor plant where it should be placed in a position receiving dappled light but not direct sunlight. Plants like to become pot-bound, and mature bulbs flower reliably every year and only need to be divided every 7 or 8 years when flowering performance starts to diminish. Paint Brush is not hardy and has to be grown under the protection of the cool greenhouse in countries with very cold winter conditions.
This species is native to South Africa.
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