by Lynn
(Toms River NJ)

Trying to help a friend make an identification. This plant has been owned by a woman for at least 30 years. When the flower opens it looks like something that should be in the ocean. One of the photo's show a dried, spent flower in the owner's hand. Is this an orchid and if so what is it called???

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Sep 29, 2013
Cable Thompson
by: Cable Thompson

This plant is not an orchid. It's a type of bulb. (The orchid family and the various families of bulbs are all classified in order Asparagales, so your guess wasn't too far off.) The foliage looks a lot like an Amaryllis (now called Hippeastrum), so it is probably in subfamily Amaryllidoideae. My best guess would be that it's a Haemanthus species, but it's hard to tell from the photos and I'm not an expert on these plants.

Does anyone else recognize it? Please chime in with more comments!

Sep 30, 2013
Thank you
by: Lynn

Thank you Cable Thompson for your information. Very soon after I posed my question, I reliezed this plant was not an orchid. However, your information gave me enough ammo to make the identification. I am happy to to report that my friend is the owner of a Haemanthus albiflos Jacq.a species of flowering plant in the family Amaryllidaceae, native to South Africa. Commonly known as "White Paintbrush".
Thank you again for you comments.

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