Rhizomatous or bulb with a distinct rhizomatous part. Petioles often sheathing and forming a false stem; leaf-blade lanceolate to ovate, glabrous, thin apart from midrib. Scape solid, lateral or apparently central among the leaves; involucral bracts 4–many, soon drooping and withering or erect and conspicuous at anthesis. Flowers many, regular, red to pink, with tube and free segments, usually erect and hypocrateriform, more rarely pendulous and infundibuliform; segments with±distinctglandular hairs at apex. Filaments from the base of the perianth-segments, filiform or flattened. Ovary globose, with 1–2 ovules per locule; style with undivided to minutely tricuspidate stigma. Fruit a globose berry, orange to red. Seeds 1–3, globose, with pale testa.
Notes: The regretable loss in tropical Africa of the familiar name Haemanthus has been necessitated by morphological and cytological investigations, which show that the name has to be reserved for South African species with a true bulb and uniformly thick, lorate, sometimes hairy, distichous leaves. All species of Scadoxus have 2n=18, Haemanthus 2n=16.