The genus Scadoxus, commonly called "blood lilies," was named by Constantine Samuel Rafinesque (1783-1840), an autodidact and eccentric natural historian who deserves an entire post of his own. The etymology isn't clear, though doxus is Greek for "glory" and there is something glorious about the large umbels of handsome vermilion flowers. All nine species of Scadoxus are native to various regions of Africa. S. nutans has two unusual features that set it apart from its congeners: first, as the specific epithet suggests (nutans means "nodding"), its inflorescence faces downward; and second, it grows most often as an epiphyte, exploiting the nutrient-rich pockets of organic matter that collect in the crotches and rough bark of trees. An epiphytic bulb?! Yes. (Well, technically it's a rhizome.) Scadoxus nutans is one of a handful of amaryllids that grow epiphytically (including some Hippeastrum, like H. auriculum iand the bat-pollinated H. calyptratum, and Pamianthe peruviana).
I acquired a seedling three years ago and this autumn it sent up its first flower stalk. The plant is reportedly slow to propagate by seed: the fruits can take many months to ripen and from seed it may take 4-5 years until the first bloom. I certainly didn't mind waiting. The plant is quite attractive: robust stems speckled with rust-colored spots and beautiful lanceolate leaves with somewhat wavy margins. The flowers are not as brightly colored as those of other Scadoxus species.
Despite its rarity, Scadoxus nutans isn't terribly difficult to cultivate. Although it comes from high-elevation forests, I've found this plant to be relatively temperature-tolerant. It summers outdoors, but benefits from afternoon shade. Overall, I treat it a bit like an orchid. A loose growing mix (I use a blend of potting soil, perlite, and mid- to large-grade orchid bark) with good drainage is a must. During the growing season (spring and summer), I water and fertilize it liberally. When growth slows down in the fall, I let it dry out a bit more. The flowering season is November through February. These aren't easy to find, but if you are interested in unusual plants I highly recommend adding one to your collection.
Friis, I. & Bjørnstad, I.N. (1971). "A New Species of Hamemanthus (Amarylladaceae) from Southwest Ethiopia," Norwegian Journal of Botany 18: 277-230.
Hutchinson, Jonathan. (2014) "Scadoxus of central and east Africa," The Plantsman 13 (1): 36–
Hutchinson, J. and Wondafrash, M. (2011), 699. SCADOXUS NUTANS. Curtis's Botanical Magazine, 28: 23–31.