Scadoxus multiflorus: Fireball Lily

Scadoxus multiflorus [Blood flower or Fireball Lily] is a member of the amaryllis family [Amaryllidaceae] originated from tropical Africa. 3 subspecies of Scadoxus multiflorus that can be distinguished: Scadoxus multiflorus subsp. multiflorus; Scadoxus multiflorus subsp. katharinae; Scadoxus multiflorus subsp. longitubus.

These are perennial herbaceous plants that grow form an onion like bulb/geophytes [underground storage organ] have about 40 inches long, wavy leaves of their leaf bases/false trunk often spotted purple.


Photo showing Scadoxus multiflorus subsp. katharinae.

The spectacular flower head is a huge spherical umbel consisting of up to 200 flowers, held clear of the foliage at the end of a solitary stem. Each plant will produce only one flower head in a season. A flower head can reach a diameter of 25 cm and a height of 110 cm, nearly waist height. Each flower is pinkish-orange-red with protruding stamens carrying bright yellow anthers. The flower heads last for 1 or 2 weeks and make superb cut flowers.

Photo: Jakarta, Indonesia 20061106

Source: Wikipedia, Plants of South Africa


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