Haemanthus coccineus

Haemanthus Coccineus – Blood Lily

Scarlet/orange petals surround a mass of stamens on a spotted flower stalk, resembling a shaving brush to some.


A bulbous perennial to 30cm, with the the very striking blooms coming out before the large, broad leaves. This is not fully hardy and requires some shade, and requires reasonable drainage over winter. In a good spot Heamanthus will bulk up and spread over the years, being endearingly gregarious, giving a stunning late summer show.


H. coccineus comes from South Africa, partucularly in Cape Province. It flourishes under shrubs and in ravines and rock crevices. It will tolerate only the briefest light frost.

Soil / Aspect:

H. coccineus grows well in a variety of soils. If it is not being grown close to a house in Karin’s garden, then it should be grown on the top of a bank to ensure good drainage and a frost free position. It will not enjoy the full summer sun in Karin’s garden and should be grown here under trees or shrubs.


This plant suffers from no discernible pests or diseases. It is the bulb that will multiply, so do deadhead after the flowers have faded. When the bulbs become congested the whole group can be lifted and teased apart. The bulbs do not seem to sulk when disturbed, as Amaryllis do.