Cyrtanthus Knysna Lily

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The spunky flowers and foliage of this evergreen bulb are highly sought after. They are also dry tolerant and easy care. The flowers blend green, red, orange and yellow in varying proportions. They grow to around 7cm and up to 12 open on a pedicel. This plant will make you swoon.
These bulbs are about a season away from flowering, but they are so rare and wonderful we couldn’t wait to show them to you! This is one of the largest of the Cyrtanthus species so takes a little longer to grow.
The upright, curved leaves grow 20-60cm long from the big, fleshy bulbs. As with many South African bulbs, the hotter and drier the weather the better the curl you will have in your leaves – developed as a function of the plant to avoid water loss. They remain a year round feature, and may lie down during winter dormancy.
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 dry over winter dormancy- if you get a lot of rain, you are better having them in pots where they can be sheltered from any wet. In pots water freely in warm weather – potting mix is perfectly drained and dries out quickly. The main bulb will produce side bulbs at a moderate rate.
Cyrtanthus is derived from the Greek, kyrtos for curved and anthos for flower. Obliquus means oblique, or slanted referencing the foliage.



Botantical name

Cyrtanthus obliquus






Spring to summer


Cool to Mediterranean


Australia wide

Frost hardiness


Full Sun to Semi Shade

Supplied as


Water needs