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Clivia miniata

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Clivia miniata
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Amaryllidoideae
Genus: Clivia
C. miniata
Binomial name
Clivia miniata

Clivia miniata, the Natal lily or bush lily, is a species of flowering plant in the genus Clivia of the family Amaryllidaceae, native to woodland habitats[2] in South Africa (Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal provinces) and Eswatini. It is also widely cultivated as an ornamental.



Clivia miniata has a fleshy, mostly underground stem (rhizome) to 2 cm (1 in) in diameter, with numerous fleshy roots. The stem produces long, arching, strap-like leaves growing to about 45 cm (18 in) long, arranged in two opposing rows (distichous). The showy, funnel-shaped flowers are produced in an umbel-shaped inflorescence, colored red, orange or yellow, sometimes with a faint, but very sweet perfume. The fruit is a bright-red spherical berry to 5 cm (2 in) in diameter, producing one to a few seeds.[3]

It is sometimes known in cultivation as "Kaffir lily" (a term considered extremely offensive in South Africa).[4] The same derogatory name is also applied to the genus Hesperantha (formerly Schizostylis).

It contains small amounts of lycorine, making it poisonous.

The genus Clivia, was named after the Duchess of Northumberland, Lady Charlotte Clive, who first cultivated the plant in England and provided the flowers for the type specimen. The Latin specific epithet miniata means “cinnabar", the color of red lead, referring to the flowers.[5]



In cooler or temperate regions, C. miniata is normally cultivated as a houseplant. Within US hardiness zones 9–11, or anywhere where frost is not a threat, it may be grown in the ground outdoors, year-round, provided the average temperature is between 5 °C (41 °F) to 29 °C (84 °F). Like its relative, C. nobilis, it has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit,[6] along with the variety C. miniata var. citrina[7] (confirmed 2017).[8] In warmer sites, it is frequently seen in public installations and is used in shaded landscapes for its attractive, evergreen foliage and showy sprays of flowers. This clump-forming plant spreads via rhizomes, and is naturally well-suited for tranquil, protected spaces.[9]

Cultivars include Clivia miniata 'Kirstenbosch Splendour', bred by Graham Duncan, which illustrates the cover of the Kirstenbosch centenary book (2013).[10]


See also



  1. ^ "Clivia miniata". World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 2016-06-28.
  2. ^ RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 978-1405332965.
  3. ^ "The Flowering Plants of South Africa; vol. 1/3". Retrieved 2021-03-25.
  4. ^ "Information about Kaffir Lily". Archived from the original on 2017-02-05. Retrieved 2011-10-21.
  5. ^ "Clivia miniata - PlantZAfrica". Retrieved 2021-03-25.
  6. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Clivia miniata". Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  7. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Clivia miniata var. 'citrina'". Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  8. ^ "AGM Plants - Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 22. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  9. ^ "Clivia miniata - Plant Finder". www.missouribotanicalgarden.org. Retrieved 2018-07-05.
  10. ^ Hartigh 2013.