This gorgeous bulb is part of the Amaryllidaceae family is classified as vulnerable. It stands about 80cm tall and the span of the scarlet blooms are breath taking! It has the largest flower cluster in the Amaryllus family, there are 30 to 40 flowers on the plant and they are so large (100mm x 40mm) that they are perfectly adapted to being pollinated by sunbirds.
Brunsvigia josephinae is said to have the biggest bulb and inflorescence among all the geophytes (plant with an underground storage organ like a bulb) in South Africa. Plants grow from seed and may take up to 14 years to mature so to see this beauty in flower on the reserve is a real gift.
Being deciduous (drops its leaves annually) geophytes, they are able to withstand seasonal droughts and very low temperatures in the winter and are also resistant to veld fires.
A lot of our Geophytes are used medicinally and Brunsvigia josephinae’s dry bulb tunics were used as wound dressings. It is said that young Xhosa men used the bulb tunics as wound dressings after circumcision rituals.