Common name: Ifafa Lily
Botanical name: Cyrtanthus mackenii Family: Amaryllidaceae (Nargis family)
This charming, sweetly scented bulb is long-flowering and easy to cultivate.
It belongs to the genus Cyrtanthus which contains many beautiful species. The
flowers of Cyrtanthus mackenii are long and narrow with recurved tips, and the
leaves are narrowly lance-shaped. This flower comes in several varieties, with
varying color: white, yellow and pink.
The flowers of all varieties are sweetly scented and pollinated by
night-flying moths. Adult plants reach about 40 cm high in full flower, and
the individual flowers measure up to 5 cm long. Ifafa lily has a very long
flowering period, depending on the particular form being cultivated, extending
from July to February.
The genus name Cyrtanthus refers to the curved flower tube of many of the
species and is derived from the Greek kyrtos meaning curved and anthos meaning
flower. The species name mackenii honours Mark J. McKen, a pioneer collector
in KwaZulu-Natal, who became the first curator of the Durban Botanic Garden in
Identification credit: R.K. Nimai Singh
|Photographed in Imphal, Manipur|