Fire Lily

The leaves vary with the species from very narrow to more strap-shaped and may appear along with the flowers or after they have finished. The flowers are tubular to bell-shaped and may be erect or drooping. Flowers are typically in shades of pink, red or orange to white. 


They make good container plants and may be brought indoors when in flower. In cooler temperate climates they are better kept as greenhouse or conservatory plants. C. elatus makes excellent cut flowers.


They do best in sandy soils enriched with organic matter, and morning sun and afternoon shade. They need a heavy watering every ten days or so.


Seeds may be sown in early spring and take around three years to flower. Offsets may be divided in spring and planted straight away before they dry out.


Cultivars include: 

C. elatus (syn. Vallota speciosa: Scarborough Lily) - flower stems to 60cm with bell-shaped flowers from white through to pink, red, orange or yellow.  
C. falcatus - flowers are pendant to 4cm long with up to ten per inflorescence and resemble shepherd's staffs. The colour is a cream-green with dark pink margins.

Plant Health

There are no major pest or disease problems.

More info

There are around 60 species of this plant which originates from eastern and southern Africa. It includes the striking Cyrtanthus elatus which was formerly known as Vallota speciosa or the Scarborough Lily.