fire lily, noun phrase

Origin:
See quotation 1985.
Any of several scarlet-flowered species of Cyrtanthus lilies (family Amaryllidaceae), especially C. contractus, C. sanguineus, and C. angustifolius; brandlelie. See also ifafa lily, Kei lily (Kei sense 1); Knysna lily sense b.
1876 H. Brooks Natal 169The leading glory of the pastures at this time is a plant known to the Dutch under the expressive and most apt name of the ‘fire-lily.’ The pastures are frequently literally ablaze with its broadly spread carpet of scarlet.
1913 C. Pettman Africanderisms 171Fire lily, Cyrtanthus angustifolius...The brilliant flame colour of its flowers is rendered more conspicuous by the blackness of the hills after the annual grass burning.
1929 M. Alston From Old Cape Homestead 81After a fire armies of fire-lilies burst out of the charred earth — little aristocrats for all their hanging heads,..flaunting their brilliance in the midst of black desolation...Their botanical name is Cyrtanthus sanguineus.
1965 S. Eliovson S. Afr. Wild Flowers for Garden 90Cyrtanthus. Fire-Lily...The common name Fire-Lily is given because some species which grow amongst grass appear profusely after veld fires...There are nearly 50 species.
1975 J.M. Gibson Wild Flowers of Natal 15Cyrtanthus contractus,..As children we used to make flutes out of the stems of this fire lily, and I don’t think it grows unless there has been a veld fire.
1985 K. Pienaar Grow S. Afr. Plants 41Bulbs in this genus are commonly known as fire lilies because some species burst into bloom after veld fires, forming brilliant scarlet patches in the still-blackened veld.
1988 M. Branch Explore Cape Flora 38The fire lilies..will lie dormant for over 20 years if there is no fire.
1989 Babiana in E. Prov. Herald 18 Mar. 8The George Lily is certainly the most beautiful of the whole group of red cyrtanthuses, all commonly known as fire lilies.
Any of several scarlet-flowered species of Cyrtanthus lilies (family Amaryllidaceae), especially C. contractus, C. sanguineus, and C. angustifolius; brandlelie.
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18761989