African Blood lily ( Amaryllidaceae Scadoxus multiflorus )

I found these at Mercer March Mart’s and planted the bulbs that spring. Nothing happened for a year. I wrote them off as a loss. Then much to my surprise they all showed up early June. So be patient, they may take 18 months before showing themselves.

Plant in part shade. You will get showier flowers in sunnier areas and the flowers will last longer in part shade. The sunniest area for this plant in Houston should only include morning sun. They will burn in afternoon or long direct sun.

Like most bulbs it will want moist soil in the warm months, and drier soil in the colder months.

Blooms appear in the summer, it may take a couple of years after you plant the bulb for it to bloom. Blooms only last a couple of weeks. Berries appear after the flowers.

Plant dies back in the winter and appears in the warm weather, usually after a rainstorm.

Plants will naturalize and prefer to be a bit crowded

Plant is toxic, don’t eat it. Arrows are coated in the toxin from this plant in African tribal areas. It is also used a medicinal plant but I would not try it.

Native to southern Africa and parts of Arabia. It grows in moist, shady habitats, preferring lowland forests

Propagate by dividing bulbs late fall – late winter

This is part of the amaryllis family and can be attacked by amaryllis lily borers. Snails and slugs may also bother it.

Note: Thrived, best growth and blooms ever during the drought and extreme heat of summer 2011