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Cyrtanthus mackenii|Cyrtanthus brachyscyphus|Cyrtanthus bicolor|Cyrtanthus breviflorus|Cyrtanthus elatus red elatus pink|Cyrtanthus falcatus|Cyrtanthus obliquus|Cyrtanthus sanguineus|Cyrtanthus suaveolens|Cyrtanthus tuckii subsp transvaalensis
Additional CYRTANTHUS photos available here
Last modified: January 18 2009

CYRTANTHUS      For more information our Cyrtanthus research programme and prices....... Click Here

Cyrtanthus is a genus of about 60 species of which about 50 are found in South Africa. Their habitat ranges from cliff faces, to forests, down to coastal dunes and the dry Karoo and some are even found in the lofty Drakensberg Mountains.

We have shied away from advertising the more difficult to grow species. All the C. mackenii/macowanii complex species do best in partial shade and are frost tender. Plant in well draining soil and bury the bulbs up to their necks. Water well in spring and summer. If dug up and allowed to partially dry out after flowering, they will come back into flowering about 6 weeks later. Do not do this more than once per annum as the stress can kill off your bulbs.

Of all the Cyrtanthus listed below, only C. obliquus and speciosus do not need shade, plenty of water and rich compost soil. Both need to dry out between waterings, need coarse sandy soil and need to be planted partially exposed. In Natal, all the Cyrtanthus listed below are evergreen but you should still allow the water intake to decrease in winter without allowing the bulbs to become completely dry.

The Green Goblin breeding programme is trying (and succeeding) in developing Cyrtanthus clones and hybrids that are not difficult to grow and maintain. Far too many people are conned into buying a pretty bulb that has being stimulated into coming into bud. The average home does not have the facilities to induce a second crop of flowers. We shy away from such practices. If a bulb cannot flower under normal garden conditions we have refrained from offering it. This way we are happy in the knowledge that you will have years of flowering pleasure and our reputation will remain intact.

We have 4 more hybrids/clones that are due for release from the year 2000 onwards. After trying our Cyrtanthus range we know that you will want to stock the entire spectrum of colours and shapes.


Cyrtanthus mackenii
Striking and showy cream, white, yellow, pink, salmon, apricot, coral, red, etc coloured flowers, frost tender, ideal for pots, flowers well, forms clumps, shade loving. Blooms from spring to summer. Well draining sandy soil enriched with compost and plenty of water during summer. If dried and then replanted after flowering it will come into flower again. This causes stress so it is not advisable to do it too often. These are mature flowering nursery bred bulbs.
Minimum size 30 mm circumference.
$1.00 each
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Cyrtanthus brachyscyphus
An interesting orange coloured species that does well in shady and damp areas. It is frost tender (as are most Cyrtanthus species) and will grow well in a pot. It needs water and fertilizer during the spring and summer months and the reward is bunches of long lasting orange flowers. These are mature flowering nursery bred bulbs.
Minimum size 27 mm circumference
$1.00 each
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Cyrtanthus bicolor
This is a spectacular yellow with a red necked Cyrtanthus. As with all of the Cyrtanthus from the mackenii/macowanii complex, it needs shade, water during the spring and summer months as well as liberal feeding. This Cyrtanthus is more robust than the others from the complex and 6-10 flowers are the norm. Multiplies well and enjoys been crowded in a pot. These are mature flowering nursery bred bulbs.
Minimum size 30 mm
$1.00 each
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Cyrtanthus breviflorusCyrtanthus breviflorus usually form part of the 'fire Lily' group and would normally need stimulation by fire to produce flowers. HOWEVER, we have managed to get a clone that comes from a swamp and thrives in water, blooms in summer, produces an average of two stems, up to 14 canary yellow flowers, and has long lasting flowers. This is the first time this gem is on offer and is highly sought after. Stocks are limited. These are mature flowering nursery bred bulbs.
Minimum size 40 mm circumference by 100 mm in height
$2.00 each
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Cyrtanthus elatus red elatus pink

These two clones of the famous "Vallota" lily of South Africa are all fairly easy to grow. They should flower every summer but do need ample feeding and moisture in order to have success with them. The red forms are from seed collected in the 'wild' three generations ago. It needs more care in order to get repeated trusses of flowers but I have attained success with them in large pots and in the open ground.

The pink form is from stock imported from New Zealand in the '90's. I crossed the original stock with a pale red form I had in order to improve the vigour of the plants. I had found that the imported plants displayed far too many negative qualities.

They will rapidly form a large number of suckers but it is advisable to leave the suckers until they are almost the size of the mother plant before removing them. This will also give you the advantage of having a cluster of flowers in one area. Division of the clumps should be done in late autumn.


$3.00 each
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Cyrtanthus falcatus

This is the giant amongst the Natal Cyrtanthus species. No matter which angle the plant is grown at, the flower stem will turn 180 at the point just before where the flower truss emerges. The flowers range from orange to red and are often tipped with a paler hue.

Most of the bulb needs to be left exposed above the ground. It needs plenty of well-draining water in spring and summer and should be allowed to almost dry out in winter. It can tolerate heavy frost and light coverings of snow but will do best in a sheltered position. It will need a 150-300mm pot in order to achieve the best results.


$10.00 each
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Cyrtanthus obliquusCyrtanthus obliquus, or soldier lily is a giant in the family. The flower stems can reach 1 metre in height and the flowers are orange and yellow with a green tip. You must allow the bulb to almost completely dry out between watering. The bulb must be planted half exposed and in sandy/stony soil. Bulbs are all large. These are mature flowering nursery bred bulbs.
Minimum size 50 mm circumference
$10.00 each
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Cyrtanthus sanguineusThe Cyrtanthus sanguineus or Inanda Lily grows best in slightly damp conditions. Like most of the Natal Cyrtanthus, it needs to be well composted and will do best under light shading. It is fairly easy to get to flower and the cerise coloured flowers that are borne in summer are a pleasure to behold.
$3.50 each
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Cyrtanthus suaveolens
A wonderfully scented Cyrtanthus. A scent similar to nutmeg, this flower is coral on the outside and a pink colour on the inner petals. Treatment same as for C. mackenii.
Minimum size 30 mm circumference
$1.00 each
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Cyrtanthus tuckii subsp transvaalensis
This bulb is not easy to get to flower but it does NOT need to be stimulated by fire in order to get blooms. It, like most of my Cyrtanthus, needs to be well watered and grown in a heavy compost media. It tends to go dormant in winter and at that stage, very minimal water should be given.
$5.00 each
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Greg Pettit
email:goblin@itikzn.co.za
telephone:(27)31 785 1636
Cell:(27)81 547 8424
postal address:P.O.Box 20
Umlaas Road 3730
KwaZulu-Natal
South Africa
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