The Blood Lily group of bulbous plants from South Africa are a wonderful addition to a garden. The different Scadoxus species flower at different times through the year and the one we will discuss is Scadoxus puniceus from Natal.
My plant has been growing in the ground since 2000 and has really appreciated the situation by multiplying well and carrying several spikes of flowers. This species is interesting as it grows and flowers in the winter months whereas the other species are spring / summer flowering. The plant is growing in a semi-shaded, well drained, high light area amongst trees.
Flower buds start forming before the leaves appear and as they approach flowering the leaves start growing away eventually overtopping the flower heads. Leaves are upright, glossy green and strap-like. The flowers can grow to 60cm in height, the strong stems being smooth green topped off with a cluster of purple-red bracts in which nestle the many orange-scarlet flowers with golden anthers and resembling a giant paintbrush. A beautiful plant.
Treat all Scadoxus plants with care as all parts are poisonous. Some species were used in Africa to supply the toxins for poisonous darts.