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Inviting Summer

Inviting Summer
Photo Information
Copyright: Anna Eksteen (Miss_Piggy) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2285 W: 5 N: 5300] (18714)
Genre: Plants
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-08-21
Categories: Flowers
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC H9, Digital ISO 100
Exposure: f/4, 1/200 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2008-08-25 16:56
Viewed: 5850
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 86
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Paintbrush lily / Scadoxus puniceus

A seemingly unending field of wildflowers always brings a smile to one's face. Leave them there for other people to enjoy as you enjoyed them. Remember, respect and protect wildflowers and their habitats, leave only footprints, and take only memories and photos so that future generations may enjoy our precious natural heritage. Please be sure to have a look at the workshop as well for a closer look of this magnificent flower.

The spectacular paintbrush lily, also known as "Blood lily" or "Snake lily" is one of South Africa's most striking bulbous plants. Growing naturally in shady areas in coastal bush, ravines and forest, it can be found in the Northern provinces, Free State, Kwa-Zulu Natal and the Eastern Cape; with its distribution extending to Tropical Africa. This species is quite variable and a number of different forms occur throughout its distribution range. There are 9 species of Scadoxus, of which 3 occur, in South Africa.

In spring and early summer this lily bears large dense heads up to 15cm across consisting of numerous smaller scarlet flowers with bright yellow anthers. The flower stalk may reach up to 50-60cm and is often spotted with purple near the base. The inflorescence is borne within bracts, which may be large and dark purplish red in colour. Sunbirds, weavers and other nectivorous birds feed on the nectar produced by the flowers.

The young inflorescence, protected by bracts and borne on the red/purple spotted flower stalk, appears first, followed by the stem, which bears 6-8 leaves. The leaves are glossy green, reach 30-40cm in length and have wavy margins. They are held erect clasping at the base to form a false stem which has red/purple speckled scale leaves at the base.

The large underground bulbs may be up to 10cm across and have a short thick stem at the base from which numerous fleshy roots arise. The plants are dormant in winter and use the large bulbs and roots to store moisture during this period. The fruits are fleshy, round, shiny red berries up to ±1cm in diameter. They bear single soft pearl-like seeds inside. Ripe berries are eaten by birds and monkeys.

As within many of the closely related amaryllis, this bulb is poisonous and deaths have been reported following the ingestion of the bulb. However this species is widely used in traditional medicine to treat coughs and gastric-intestinal problems. It has also traditionally been used as part of a medicine taken regularly during pregnancy to ensure a safe delivery.

The paintbrush lily was formerly known as Haemanthus magnificus. The name Scadoxus is derived from "doxus" meaning glory or splendour, and punicues means crimson, scarlet or purple. This beautiful, as well as many other wildflowers, are indiscriminately removed from the wild and sold when they are in flower. Source

RESPONSIBLE PEOPLE WHO LOVE NATURE DO NOT PICK WILDFLOWERS. For many of us a field of wildflowers is one of the most beautiful experiences we can encounter in Nature. There is a deep impulse we carry from childhood into adulthood to reach out and pick a flower in a beautiful butterfly-filled meadow or along a public wooded trail lined with spring beauties. Millions of people visit the public lands each year and if only a small fraction of them each picked a few flowers, soon there would be none for the rest of us to enjoy.

DO NOT PICK THEM. Almost all wildflowers are fragile and many wilt and perish soon after being picked. Over the years, the repercussions of wildflower picking by unthinking people go far beyond the loss of the flowers themselves. A critical chain of events is triggered for years to come once wildflowers are lost. We don't often realise it, but wildflowers support entire ecosystems for pollinators, birds, and small animals on a micro scale. Butterflies and other insects, small birds, and animals depend on seeds, nectar, and pollen for their food supply and life support system. In addition, some pollinators are not very mobile or have very small home ranges or depend on just one species of plant and die once their habitat has been destroyed. Most wildflowers when dug from their natural habitat do not survive after being transplanted. Source

I hope you enjoy looking at this photo as much as I took pleasure in taking it.

gannu, jusninasirun, Alex99, robindb, boreocypriensis, Argus, lousat, Silvio2006, crs, Pitoncle, janhendrik, ramthakur, meyerd, gracious, jpdenk, soccer, goldyrs, Rehanna, JoseMiguel, uleko, Aaltjie, lovenature, haraprasan, maurydv has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2008-08-25 19:03]

Hi Anna I know some similar flowers - Check out:


Yours is different to my flowers though - and it seems larger too. When the flower dies large thick ugly leaves appear. And they die off over winter until it is time for the stem to re-appear and then the flower head.

This is a good shot of your Blood Lily, with the light shining on the brush-like stamens. And the bee looks very happy rolling among its colourful stems.

Well captured

  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2008-08-25 21:00]

Hello Anna, Surprisingly you and your husband had a posting today in the same page. Before I comment on the flower I noticed that there is a bee in the entire frame alone just enjoying the lovely summer and the flower bed. Interesting isnt? Rather the flower the presence of the bee is actually lifting the scene and with such a superb composition. Excellent shot and wonderfully presented. Take care. Ganesh smiley shortly.

Hello Anna. This is so bright and colorful. Sharpness and detail are flawless with the bees still visible with all those colors. Excellent framing and tight cropping of the flower. The negative background really makes the image pos here. Well done and thanks for sharing. Jusni

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-08-25 23:34]

Hi Anna.
Brilliant presentation of this very attractive plant. I welcome both shared shots. Pictures are full of life, lights and amazing colours. I also am impressed with terrific details of all flower parts and tiny and middle size insects. Dark green BG decorates the main subject so nicely. Note cannot be better. It is written greatly, very interesting and useful. My greetings and TFS. Well done.

More Anna
Goeie foto. Lyk na vol somer!

Hi Anna,


Somer begin hier ook alhoewel ons so 'n bietjie agter julle is en die foto laat mens somer jeuk om in die veld te wees.

Ek stem volkome saam met die aanmaning om te kyk maar nie te vat nie wanneer dit by ons lieflike natuur kom.



Hi Anna,
A perfect macro capture of this beautiful paintbrush lily inviting the summer! Great details and DOF. And as usual great notes! Many thanks for sharing this beauty.


  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-08-26 1:52]

Hello Anna,
It is incredible that such a spectacular flower, the Paintbrush lily, should be found growing in the wild and I can see in this sharp capture that it is attractive to bees and therefore not surprising that it is attractive to birds such a s Sunbirds too.
The side ambient lighting makes this splash of colour even more attractive against a suitable dark BG.
Good note about admiring flowers where they grow!
Thanks for sharing this delight,

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2008-08-26 4:49]

Hi Anna,i like a lot your way to show this flower,the moment to take whit this incredible light was perfect,i think the better moment in a day! Colors very warm and incredible sharpness,my best best compliment,you discover how to transform a flower in a great spectacle! Have a nice day,Luciano

  • Great 
  • crs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 469 W: 0 N: 922] (3551)
  • [2008-08-26 8:05]

Hello Anna,

What a colorfull photo! I like this image looking like a blast of colors. Very good sharpnes showing well the flower and it's depth. The bee is well placed showing the dimensions of the flower.

Thank you for sharing,

Bonjour Anna,
Superbe macro mettant bien le sujet en valeur par la finesse des détails, la délicatesse des couleurs et sa nette et bonne opposition sur l'arrière plan. La lumière est splendide.
A bientôt sur TN pour de nouvelles aventures.

Hallo Anna,

Dit is so mooi, ek hou daarvan dat jy die blom reg van bo af vasgele het. Weet jy, ek het nog nooit in my lewe hierdie blom gesien nie, en dit is so mooi. Ek hou van jou nota ook.


In my younger days as a school master, I used to take my school boys on treks to the Himalayas every summer, Anna. I would also tell them exactly the same thing during briefing: When you are there, take only memories and pictures and leave only footprints behind.
Your words re-inforce the veracity of this universal adage, especially relevant to our times. Nature needs to be respected and cared for, not vandalized.
The Paintbrush Lily is a beautiful wild flower from your part of the world and I am thrilled at its sight captured so well by you. The two bees on it enhance its beauty and appeal. Your workshop image gives a closer view of its constituents.
Also thank you very much for your kind words on my dragonfly picture. This species had eluded me, so capturing it was like catching up with a dream, even though the picture was far from perfect.

Hi Anna,
you introduce us to your wildflower flora in a most convincing way: with a good picture. I have never seen a Scadoxus before, it's definitely splendid! Please continue our instruction!
Best regards

Ciao Anna, fantastic flower with splendid colors, intersting note amd excellent sharpness, very well done, ciao Silvio

Hi Anna,
What a lovely flower and how wonderful to not have only one but two bees on the flower. The also add a good reference to the scale. Both color and details are superb and the way the light divided the flower in two is interesting.

  • Great 
  • wuta Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 855 W: 2 N: 617] (2142)
  • [2008-08-27 11:07]

hello , Anna , Ah sweet one , beautiful flower never seen before ,and beauty colours , tfs ,greetings teunie .

Excellent framing and tight cropping of the flower.

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2008-08-27 13:37]

Hi Anna

Just a quick one now...trying to catch up after my trip last week :)
This is a lovely macro full of life and color!
I really like the texture that dominates the scene and the natural contrast of the flower, too.
The natural sunlight works superbly and exposes the entire scene, by giving just enough light on the flower while the BG is well darkened.
Lovely work!

Bravo and TFS

Hello Anna,
Do not change your wonderful H9, It gave you and us so many quality photos from your side of the world with my sincere respects! it gave good exposure and focus in the images that you produced indeed!
the same as this one, I loved the sharpness, colour and details, the exposure is brilliant without any OE at all even from a very bright sunlight!
thank you my friend and take good care
greeting to you and Loot from NZ

Hi Anna,

An excellent image, looks like fireworks exploding out of a flower, a spectacular species to be sure.

Also an excellent note. It's surprising how often even people who should know better will pick a wildflower, perhaps dooming the plant to death, in some instances. Sadly, plant poaching is a real problem where I live, I've seen whole populations of rare plants dug up by unscrupulous people.

Anyway, thanks for posting the excellent image and note.


Hi Anna,

Absolutely well focused paintbrush Lily. I love the colours, bees, and the composition. Thank you for the information too its interesting.
All the best


Dear Anna,
I am very happy to see this photo macro shot of paintbrush lily which I have never seen on this subcontinent surprizingly.I believe it is poisonous if ingested. The multiple brushlike stamens are packing the inner space of this flower but where is the stigma? Is it hidden down below or they are sexually dimorphic? TFS.

  • Great 
  • smitha Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 348 W: 73 N: 1165] (4409)
  • [2008-08-28 23:50]

Dear Anna,
WOW! It definitely is announcing summer. Beautiful picture, with great POV, DOF, sharpness, details and colours.great to see your flower picture Anna.:)
Thanks for the share,

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2008-08-29 22:39]

Hello anna,
a stunning bright shot of the flower. Great clarity and sharpness. Well composed full shaped with details seen.
Exellent lighting too. I really like the notes you put on wild flower picking. i hope we can inculcate more people of good ethics in nature loving.
Thanks Anna.


  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2008-08-30 7:46]

Hello Anna! That's an amazing flower! Such good details and sharpness. The colors are rich and bright and the darker background is a big plus, well done, thanks!



The colour in your pic is amazing! I like the detail and sharpness of the subject. The BG is dark and OOF, which adds to the clarity and detail of the colours of the subject. The Composition, POV, DOF and BF are all great too.


Wow, Anna, that bee must feel like a child in a candy store! What a lovely photo, and the bee brings it to "life". Well done!

Hi Anna.
Excellent and amazing shot..I like to flashy colors and the bee's on the lovely flower...Beautiful composition and your note's very good..
Great shot and perfect picture as usual...
All the Best

I've been very infrequent inthe recent past, Anna, and my apologies for that, but I don't seem to have missed much in your gallery, my dear friend.
I love the simply superb details in this shot!It is mind-blowing, especially the honey-bee camouflaged so beautifully in the flower!
Very, very impressive, Anna!

Hello Anna
Darem maar 'n uitsonderlike blom die en jy het jouself goed gekwyt van die taak om dit so pragtig moontlik af te neem. Die donker rooi skutblare vorm 'n besonderse mooi raam om die honderde meeldrade. Ek dink hulle noem hierdie ook 'n bloedblom. Ek het al van hulle in die Mkuze wildtuin gesien. Baie mooi foto. Rehanna

Un joli festival de couleurs très décoratif.
Bonne journée.

Hi Anna,
About inviting summer, can you please send me some?
It seems this winter is a never ending one!
What and explosion of colour and joy in this picture.
I like the vibrant contrast made against the dark background. Even the small bees on it are like a living accents for the picture.
So good to know this specie form Africa, and found very interesting the message in your notes too.
My compliments and thanks for share.
Best regards,

hello anna,
lovely shot, the flowers looks as if its going to burst, the colors are vibrant and the composition is lovely, i liked the closeup. i can see two insects too, the dark surrounings offer good contrast,
well done,
tfs & regards

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-09-14 6:40]

Hello Anna,
This is a really bright and sharp close-up of a beautiful flower that looks very exotic to me. What a huge collection of stamens! It looks very fine against the dark background.
I expect spring is coming your way now so I hope you'll soon show us plenty of all the fantastic wild flowers endemic to South Africa.
TFS and best wishes, Ulla

Hello Anna,
It is spectacular. I haven't seen this in Kruger, I think.
Of course there are so many things to see there.
But I was thinking about some documentaries I saw on TV in which they showed South African gardens with these kind of overwhelming flowers and plants.
A feast for the eye.

Absolutely incredible!! Mustsay not just this picture but your gallery is awe inspiring! Amazing details and the color wow!
Love that your flower is going buggy. TFs

Dit is enkel prachtige foto. Ik houd van elk soort bloemen maar van u... zijn zij enkel verbazend! Ik zou hen willen thuis hebben! De kleuren vangen het oog, en voegt aan de schoonheid van de bloem toe. Ik denk de byen een bal in de nectar van dit bloeit zullen hebben. Al mijn zeer best voor u en aan alle andere begaafde fotografen op Trek Nature.
Aaltjie & Hettie

Hi Anna
The Paintbrush Lily is an amazing looking flower. I totally agree with you that people should not pick wild flowers. You brought up a very good point.

The colour of your Lily is stunning. The bees and insects must think they have gone to heaven when pollinating this flower. Very beautiful!
TFS Janice

Hi Anna,
A nice capture of this beautiful lilly flower. Very well composed with sharp details and very good and informative notes. Thanks a lot for sharing.

Hi Anna,
This is a splash of colors! Thanks for this nice presentation and notes. It is the first time I see this flower and it is wonderful! Details and colors saturation are very good. As usual, your notes are useful and educative. Bye, bye,

Ciao Anna,
splendida immagine di questo bellissimo fiore dai magnifici colori solari, eccellenti POV e composizione che esaltano la luce radente, la luminosità e il forte contrasto con lo sfondo scuro, ottima la definizione dei dettagli, molto belli anche gli effetti grafici ancor più evidenziati in WS.

What a beautiful close-up! I did not seen this plant in live, it looks very interesting.

  • Great 
  • Helio Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 44 W: 0 N: 16] (533)
  • [2009-07-16 4:13]

Fantastic shot, wonderful macro .

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