Lily fields
Farm Sandhof Maltahohe area

An interesting phenomenon occurs in some parts of Namibia after a summer rains.

A huge fields of lilies grow in a ground depressions/flats/clay pans where rain water collects. One of such fields was observed in Southern Namibia in the area of town Maltahohe, on Farm Sandhof. Crinum Paludosum, a funnel shaped flowers commonly known as bushveld vlei lilies bloom in marshy areas and only last for six or seven days before they change colour from pink to white and wither afterwards.

These flowers belong to the Amaryllis plant species and can be found in Namibia although they rarely appear in parts of Botswana sometimes. According to South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) some occurrences were recorded in parts of South Africa from northern KwaZulu-Natal to Limpopo.
The bulbs only bloom after there has been enough rain filling clay pan with about 30 cm of water.

The photos were taken on 15 February 2005.

The lilies field is estimated at 800 ha, the local guide informed that it occurs once in 3-5 years. The last occurrence was in summer of 2002.

YouTube video of Lily fields, February 2017:


It is interesting to note that a beetle, endemic to the area, also resides where lilies grow and disappears together with it. Locals call it "Elephant Beetle" also known as the red lily weevil, Brachycerus ornatus.

YouTube video: Maltahohe town, January 2022:


Exact location: end of the road D861 (Maltahohe area, 35 km from town), around 2 km off the road, gate is on the right hand side.

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