Cyrtanthus is a genus of perennial, herbaceous and bulbous plants in the family Amaryllidaceae, There are over 60 recognized species, all native to central and southern Africa.
This genus contains many exceptionally beautiful species. The best known is the scarlet form of Cyrtanthus elatus, commonly known as the George lily, originally from the southern Cape and now grown world-wide for its cut flowers.
Members of the Cytanthus family are endemic to the southern and eastern parts of Africa and is represented in all nine provinces of South Africa, with the highest concentration of species occurring in the southern parts of Eastern Cape.
The genus Cyrtanthus can conveniently be placed into two distinct groups, namely deciduous and evergreen species. The deciduous members may be further divided into either winter- or summer-growing species: the winter-growing species occur mainly in the southwestern and southern Cape; and the summer-growers are found in the southern, eastern and northern parts of South Africa. The evergreen species occur mainly in the southern and eastern parts of the country.
Several members of the genus are noted for their extremely rapid flowering response to natural bush fires, hence the common name, fire lily for several species.