Afrikaans names for this geophyte, like bobbejaanoor (baboon ear) and velskoenblaar (home made leather shoe leaf) do not sound flattering. They do, however, constitute the often apt descriptions of interested people with no pretence at science that frequent the distribution areas of notable plants.
And these names are less confusing than the series of botanical name changes this plant, like many plants, has undergone, should one care to follow the paper trails. The names Haemanthus hirsutus and H. candidus are still around in some sources, also undated ones. Naming histories of entities in the biological world assume lives of their own. To be continued as knowledge grows, interest persists, or returns... and further evolutionary events merit description... and speculation!
The white to pale pink, dome-shaped flowerheads of the hairy subspecies of H. humilis grow on sturdy and, of course, hairy stalks; the help of the leaves fully justifying the hirsute component of the name.
One finds these plants in high altitude rocky grassland of the north eastern South African summer rainfall area. It becomes cold and dry in winter here.
If the irresponsible plant collectors are not too active, you may still see some of them around!
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