A hot to trot bulb with brilliant, orange-red flowers from spring to summer. Each bulb produces up to three flowers, each 8-10cm long. It is native to the Eastern Cape of South Africa. It gets the name Fire Lily from its ability to bloom after a bush fire. These bulbs are flowering size, but they do sulk when moved so may need some time to settle in and look their best.
The strappy, semi evergreen foliage grows up to four leaves, to 40cm long, and 2-3cm wide. The relaxed growth looks good draped over the edge of a pot or basket. The bulbs will multiply at a steady rate and are best planted in clumps.
Best grown in a sunny spot in moderately fertile to humus rich, well drained soil. In pots use a good quality potting mix. In the garden plant twice as deep as the bulb is high. In pots plant Cyrtanthus so the neck of the bulb is at or just above the soil level. Water in, then only if rainfall is low during active growth. Keep relatively dry over winter dormancy. In pots water freely in warm weather – potting mix is perfectly drained and dries out quickly.
As well as Fire Lily, Cyrtanthus sanguineus is commonly known as Kei Lily. Sanguineous is from the Latin for blood red. Cyrtanthus is derived from the Greek, kyrtos for curved and anthos for flower.
Cool to Mediterranean
Full Sun to Semi Shade