Haemanthus albiflos, commonly known as Paint Brush, is an evergreen to semi-evergreen, bulbous plant native to South Africa. With its handsome leaves, long flowering season, and red berries, it is an excellent choice for shady spots in the garden.
The leaves are quite variable, from pale to dark to grey-green. They may be covered with short, soft hairs or smooth and shiny or may have yellowish spots on the upper surface. In the wild, it flowers in fall and winter but may flower at any time of the year in cultivation. The fruits are in the form of a large berry and ripen to an eye-catching bright orange or red, attractive to birds. The upper half of the bulb is usually exposed above ground and is bright green.
Paint Brush has a wide, mainly coastal distribution stretching from the southern Cape through many parts of the Eastern Cape, right up to the northern parts of KwaZulu-Natal.
This plant is reported to be used in traditional medicine to treat chronic coughs and as a charm to ward off lightning.
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.
Propagation of Paint Brush is by seed and by separation of offsets from thick clumps. Seeds are sown once the ripe berries have become soft and turned a bright orange or red color from the end of winter to early summer. Germination can take several months, so be patient.
Seedlings should be allowed to remain in the trays for two years and can be planted out into the garden or permanent pots in spring at the beginning of their third season, during which time the first flowers can be expected, under ideal conditions.
Offset bulbs are best separated from thick clumps in early spring, as temperatures begin to rise, ensuring that each offset has a good supply of roots. They should not be forcibly broken away from the mother bulbs but should be tugged away gently. They should be replanted as soon as possible and kept well shaded until the bulbs have established themselves and formed additional roots.
Paint Brush is not often subject to attack by pests or diseases, but the leaves are sometimes invaded by the Dreaded Lily Borer, also known as Amaryllis Caterpillar. This pest, which is most prevalent during the hot summer months, can be controlled by cutting away and disposing of affected leaves or by spraying with a carbaryl-based insecticide in severe infestations.
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|Life cycle:||Perennial |
|Sun Requirements:||Partial or Dappled Shade |
|Minimum cold hardiness:||Zone 9a -6.7 °C (20 °F) to -3.9 °C (25 °F) |
|Maximum recommended zone:||Zone 11 |
|Plant Height :||18 inches|
|Plant Spread :||24 inches or more in colonies|
|Flower Color:||White |
|Bloom Size:||1"-2" |
|Flower Time:||Late fall or early winter |
|Underground structures:||Bulb |
|Suitable Locations:||Xeriscapic |
|Resistances:||Tolerates dry shade |
|Propagation: Other methods:||Division |
|Containers:||Suitable in 3 gallon or larger |
In early December these bulbs throw out the most striking flower heads.
Pure white pincussions each with a glob of golden pollen.
Super easy to grow.
I have a clump in a 7-gallon pot that just gets better each year.
Easy to divide as well.
I usually have offsets to share.
Evergreen bulbous perennial geophyte is what a HAEMANTHUS ALBIFLOS is, with small white flowers in dense umbels. It usually grows up to 20-30 centimeter tall when in flower by 15 centimeter wide. Haemanthus albiflos, haemanthus deformis and haemanthus pauculifolius are BEST KNOWN AS THREE EVERGREEN SPECIES. It is a very variable plant and has a hairy-leaved forms known as var. pubescens are no longer considered distinct.
This kind of plant naturally occurs in covered habitat in forest and bushveld vegetation mainly near the costs and usually on the coastal sand dunes or on rocky sea shores exposed to salt spray but also on cliff faces in river valleys where it clings in large clumps, and in shady places on high altitude inland mountain ranges. This kind of species of Haemanthus, which is only HAEMANTHUS ALBIFLOS can be found in both winter and summer rainfall regoins. Probably the pollinators, bees and butterflies visit the flowers.
This plant is originally from South Africa, southern Cape through the Eastern Cape to KwaZulu-Natal
OTHER INFORMATIONS ABOUT HAEMANTHUS ALBIFLOS (PAINT BRUSH)
HOW TO GROW AND CARE OF HAEMANTHUS ALBIFLOS (PAINT BRUSH)
This plant is an ideal plant for a shady rock garden or for difficult parts of the garden receiving poor light, where they can be left to multiply for many years.