A large Botanical group visited Vogelgat yesterday on a quest to see the flowering Nerine sarniensis (Guersnsey lily).
Colour variations include red, rarely pink or white flowers with erect stamens. Found growing on rocky south and north-west facing slopes in the SW Cape.
Common names: Guernsey lily, red nerine, berglelie
Nerine sarniensis, commonly known as Guernsey lily or Jersey lily, is a species of flowering plant in the family Amaryllidaceae. It is the type species of the Nerine genus. It is widely cultivated in the temperate world and is particularly associated with the island of Guernsey, as reflected in both its Latin and common names (sarniensis means “from Guernsey”), though it does not originate there, nor is it a true lily (it is more closely related to Amaryllis and Sternbergia). It is native to the Northern and Western Cape Provinces of South Africa, There are 4 fynbos species of Nerine.
Derivation of name and historical aspects
This beautiful Nerine has a colourful history. The often-told but unlikely tale of how boxes of bulbs of South Africa’s most famous Nerine, consigned for Holland, were cast away from a sinking ship in 1659 and took root and flourished on the shores of Guernsey in the Channel Islands, has become something of a botanical legend. Whatever the truth is regarding the arrival of Nerine sarniensis on Guernsey, its bulbs have been cultivated there for more than three centuries, and continue to be grown there for their cut flowers.
The cleric and amaryllid expert, Rev. William Herbert, established the genus Nerine in 1820. It is unclear whether he named it for Nerine, the Greek mythological sea nymph and daughter of sea God Nereis and Doris, or for Nereide, the daughter of Nereus, son of Oceanus. The specific epithet sarniensis refers to the Island of Sarnia, the Roman name for Guernsey, where Nerine sarniensis was at one time thought to have occurred naturally.
Submitted by Gilly