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Zones 16-24
Partial Sun
Regular Water


Bulbs and bulblike plants, Perennials, Flowers

South African natives withglossy, strap-shaped, evergreen leaves that remain attractive all year. The flowers appear in clusters at ends of stems that rise just above the leaves. Good potted plants.

Plants are frost sensitive, so give them a sheltered spot in Zones 18–22. Plant in spring, in well-drained, enriched soil. Set the bulbs 1–1 1/2 ft. apart, with tips just beneath soil surface. Give less water during semidormant period (winter and spring for C. elatus, summer for C. mackenii), but don’t let plants dry out. To increase plantings, remove bulblets that form around larger bulb and plant separately.

Cyrtanthus elatus, photo courtesy of Marcus Harpur/Harpur Garden Images
Cyrtanthus elatus, photo courtesy of Marcus Harpur/Harpur Garden Images

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Cyrtanthus elatus

Looks like a moredelicate version of hybrid amaryllis (Hippeastrum). Leaves 1–2 ft. long. in summer and early fall, each thick flower stalk is topped with up to ten 3–4-in., funnel-shaped orange-red blooms. (White- and pink-flowered forms are less common.) Succeeds in competition with tree roots. Excellent houseplant.

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