All four species of Wachendorfia are endemic to the winter rainfall fynbos region of South Africa. They form part of the family Haemodoraceae, the bloodwort family. Haima is Greek for blood and dôran means gift; wort is old English for a plant. The specific name of Wachendorfia thyrsiflora is interesting as the flower is not a thyrse but a panicle. The well-known Australian kangaroo paw flowers belong to the same family.
Wachendorfia and Barberetta, two South African flowering genera, display a rare flower feature of dimorphism: the style and one stamen are deflected to one side while the other stamens point the opposite way. The function of this feature is not yet understood (Wikipedia; www.plantzafrica.com; Ornduff and Dulberger in New Phytologist (1978) vol. 80).
The flowers grow in crowded clusters on side-shoots of the main stem of the inflorescence. Note how only some flowers from the different side-shoots on the panicle are open at a given time, producing patches of colour all the way up.