Clivia miniata (forest lily or natal lily)

A Bright Spot

While I’ve been waiting for the spring flowers to start opening there has been a very bright splash of colour indoors. These bold reddish-orange flowers belong to Clivia miniata, otherwise know as the ‘forest lily’ or ‘natal lily’.

The colour feels much more summery than the paler colours that are appearing with the spring flowers. Reds and oranges always make me think of hot summer days. I think my clivia is a rather darker shade and more red than most (judging by the pictures in Google search). Apparently they are more variable when raised from seed, but I have no idea if this one was. (It was given to me by another gardener. A fabulous gift!)

These flowers have been a cheerful and quite exotic sight. They have greeted me every time I went into the conservatory for the last couple of weeks. Now the flowers are starting to fade – I shall miss them until they return next year!

Clivia miniata (forest lily or natal lily)

20 thoughts on “A Bright Spot

    1. They really do seem so bright and warm – a totally unexpected combination this early in the year. (Though today has almost felt like a summer day – lovely!)

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  1. I’ve never heard of Clivia, and no wonder. I see they’re native to South Africa, so it makes sense that a gardener would know them, and a let’s-go-look-for-native-wildflowers sort wouldn’t! The color’s not only scrumptious, it reminds me of another South African native that I grew in pots for some years: Cape Honeysuckle. Those flowers looked much like our regular honeysuckles, but the vibrant orange was fabulous, and they attracted hummingbirds like crazy. Eventually I sent them to another home, where they could be in the ground and get more sun. Unfortunately, last year’s freeze did them in. So it goes!

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    1. I Googled Cape Honeysuckle and my reaction was ‘Ooh, cor!’ Fantastic flame-bright flowers! These sorts of rich colours always make me think of silk – they have that shimmer and vibrance about them. Such a shame about the freeze killing them off.

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  2. Lovely. What a wonderful lift of the spirit seeing the brightness of these clivia flowers. Mary Beth has one with orange flowers and we have a hard time keeping up with its need for larger and larger pots. We thought about dividing it and took it to a greenhouse to handle the job but the woman there encouraged us to leave it alone, although definitely repotting, as they like being crowded.

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    1. Very welcome colour indeed! Your reply made me wonder what the ‘miniata’ refers to. Nothing about the plant seems miniature but apparently it has a ‘compact rhizome’, so maybe that’s it. (I’ve never seen one, so will have to just take that on trust.)

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