Schizostylis coccinea

Schizostyhs coccinea. Or kaffir lily, a native of high, well-watered places in South Africa, is a plant of the ins family which flowers remarkably late in the year, from autumn into early winter. A tall plant from 2 to 3 feet (60 to 90 cm) high, it has swordlike leaves and stems which bear a number of cup-shaped flowers. These open into stars in bright light. The species is scarlet, but there are varieties in other shades of red and pink; ‘Major’ has crimson satiny flowers. ‘Sunrise’ is a soft pink. The plant is hardy except in cold districts, for which it is not suitable, and likes a sheltered place in the sun and a great deal of moisture – the margin of a stream or pool is the nearest thing to its natural home. It lasts for several weeks as a cut flower.

Plant Sch/zosty//s in enriched soil, putting in two or three plants 9 inches (23 cm) apart, and keep it moist throughout summer and autumn, mulching in summer with peat. A plant which will still be in flower when the kaffir lily blooms is Asuantia major, and a large group would provide a pleasant contrast of colour and leaf form. Alternatively, it could be grown in a moist bed with Michaelmas daisies.

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