Clivia miniata, Bush Lily, Boslelie

Clivia miniata

Bush Lily, Boslelie
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Origin: Southern Africa
USDA Zone: 9-10?
USDA Plant Hardiness MapGroundcover and low-growing 2ft plantSmall plant 2-5 ftShadeKeep soil moistYellow, orange flowersRed, crimson, vinous flowersPoisonous or toxicPlant attracts butterflies, hummingbirdsEthnomedical plant.
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Clivia miniata is a clump forming perennial with dark green, strap shaped leaves which arise from a fleshy underground stem. The flowering heads of brilliant orange (rarely yellow), trumpet shaped flowers appear mainly in spring but also sporadically at other times of the year. The deep green shiny leaves are a perfect foil for the masses of orange flowers. Clivia are endemic to southern Africa, meaning that they do not occur naturally anywhere else in the world! The bush lily grows in dappled shade, often in large colonies. The soil is well drained and humus rich. Occasionally they may be found growing in the fork of a tree. Sadly in many areas colonies of wild bush lilies have been destroyed by harvesting for traditional medicine and also by plant collectors. Clivia miniata is easily cultivated and very rewarding. It should be planted in dappled shade, (they are sensitive to sunlight and will burn easily). The plants should be watered regularly during the summer months which is their growing season. The bush lily is frost tender and may be damaged if in a position that is exposed, to cold winds especially. It takes a long time for the damage to grow out if this happens, so it is best to select a sheltered site. The rhizomes are reportedly extremely toxic but are used medicinally for various purposes. The name meaning: Clivia - after the Duchess of Northumberland, Lady Charlotte Clive who first cultivated and flowered the type specimen in England; miniata - color of red lead - referring to the flowers.

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