International Plant Appreciation Day – Ammocharis longifolia

International Plant Appreciation Day (13 April) inspired us to celebrate a series of our own stunning lilies in the veld this month! Contribution: Susan Grobbelaar #ProtectRooibergBreedeRiver

Ammocharis longifolia – Malgas lily

All around Rooiberg’s sandy slopes, the Candelabra lilies ensure a spectacular pink display for everyone with a watchful eye. The large pink flower heads consist of 20 – 40 flowers. Flowers are normally born from February to March and produce a strong and pleasant frangipani-like scent. As well as the other March lilies, the leaves appear from May to September, (9 to 14 leaves). The ball-like umbel dries out, broke off and the wind rolls it along while the seeds fall to the ground.

The family name Amaryllidaceae is from the name Amaryllus who was a pretty shepherdess mentioned by Theocritus, Virgil and Ovid. Edmund Spenser used the name in 1595 for Alice, daughter of Sir John Spenser. The genus name Ammocharis is from the Greek ammos, meaning sand and charis, meaning delight. This refers to the plant’s preference to sandy soil.

There are no cultural or medicinal uses associated with Ammocharis longifolia.

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