Sprekelia formosissima

Sprekelia formosissima

This bulb, known as the Jacobean lily, is a lovely and unusual member of the Amaryllidaceae family (ht 30-45 cm) which blooms in late October or November. It comes from Mexico and Guatemala. It has brilliant red, narrow petals, with the appearance of an exotic sculptured orchid. Its common name comes from the flower's resemblance to the red cross of the Spanish order of St Jacob of Calatrava. The friend who gave it to me grew hers in a pot, and it flowered very well. I have put mine in a sunny garden bed, with the necks of the bulbs above soil level; like many bulbs in this family, it prefers to be kept fairly dry when it is dormant in autumn and winter. It should be divided only when it is very congested; this is best done in autumn.

Flowers in November.

 Out now in my Sydney Garden.