It is March and the “Candelabra Flowers” (Brunsvigia Orientalis – or ‘Koningskandelaar‘ in Afrikaans) are making their annual appearance – and how beautiful are these photos taken by Gavin Joyce!
This plant comes from the Western Cape where it blooms in late summer before the leaves sprout. The large bulb sends up a huge flower cluster up to 24 inches across resembling a red chandelier!
It forms a large bulb that can grow over 8 inches across. It usually makes 4 to 6 large, tongue-shaped leaves that lie flat along the ground.
The leaves grow throughout winter, and the bulb goes dormant for the summer. In late summer or early autumn, its dramatic flower stalk sprouts from the bare ground.
The cluster has from 20 to 80 scarlet blooms that face upward, which serve as a landing pad for birds. After flowering, the round cluster dries up, breaks off from the stalk, and rolls around in the wind like a tumbleweed, which spreads the seeds around.
The plant can reach blooming size at 6 to 8 years old.