Cyrtanthus mackenii

Cyrtanthus mackenii

Sometimes called the Ifafa lily, this is a cute little South African bulb that flowers in spring. The curved, trumpet-shaped flowers appear in clusters at the top of 20-30 cm stems. The most often seen has ivory blooms in late winter and early spring; the variety cooperi has creamy-yellow flowers; another has reddish-orange blooms, as pictured. Other species of Cyrtanthus flower in early summer or autumn; some species are fragrant. Cyrtanthus elatus is the name of what was once called Vallota speciosa, the vallota or Scarborough lily: it has large, scarlet, funnel-shaped flowers - I have never had any luck growing these in my garden, alas! Cyrtanthus mackenii do best in a sunny, well-drained position with humus-rich soil, with their necks at or just above ground level, and can be divided when dormant if they become too congested. The Ifafa lily makes a good cut flower.

Suitable for Cut Flowers. Flowers in September.