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Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Liliales
Family: Colchicaceae
Genus: Sandersonia
Species: S. aurantiaca
Binomial name
Sandersonia aurantiaca

Sandersonia is a rhizomatous plant genus native to South Africa (the Cape Provinces, KwaZulu-Natal and the Northern Provinces) and Swaziland, part of the family Colchicaceae.[1][2] It has only one species, Sandersonia aurantiaca. It is also called Christmas bells, golden lily of the valley or Chinese lantern lily or Chinese lantern bulb S. aurantiaca is a perennial plant and a climber that can reach 30 inches in height. The flowers are yellow or orange.[3]


Sandersonia aurantiaca enjoy sandy soil rich with compost but well drained. They enjoy full sun, but not excessive heat. If heat is excessive, they will require more watering. They are delicate against being bumped or stepped on. They like to grow upwards and should be staked. They die back naturally at the end of the season and will return in zones 9 and 10. They do well in San Francisco, San Diego, and other places with mild climates in which it get neither too hot nor too cold. They are good for green houses.

The orange/yellow flowers look like tiny Chinese Lanterns. The color of Sandersonia aurantiaca is more yellow then of Physalis alkekengi but they are much more resistant to fungal disease then Physalis alkekengi which is also called Chinese Lantern Flower. They are slow to start off the first few years but will pick up speed with each new season. Once they are large enough they can be divided to create more plants. [4]


  1. ^ William Jackson Hooker. 1853. Botanical Magazine 79: t. 4716 Sandersonia aurantiaca
  2. ^ Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, Sandersonia aurantiaca
  3. ^ Botanica: The Illustrated AZ of over 10000 garden plants and how to cultivate them (Könemann, 2004, ISBN 3-8331-1253-0), 818, 962.
  4. ^ [1]

External links[edit]

"Sandersonia aurantiaca Hook".