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Forest Lily

Veltheimia bracteata

Unicorn root

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The Forest lily is an exceptionally beautiful bulb plant, flowering in hues of pink and red. It is easy to grow and require little water and attention. Forest lilies bloom throughout winter until early spring. Being bird-pollinated, these flowers attract a multitude of birds to gardens. Veltheimia capensis is known as the Sand lily, growing in sandy patches in forest areas.

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Flowering time
Winter
Fruiting time
Spring, Winter

Harvesting

Pick flowers for the vase when in flower.

Propagation

Seed
Propagation by seed is generally very successful. Bulbs must be planted during autumn, at or just below ground level, and left undisturbed for a long period. New bulbs should flower after one season.
Cuttings
Stems should be removed in summer, after foliage has died down. Plant immediately in 30 cm to 40 cm deep soil.

Special features

Attracts birds
In warmer countries Hummingbirds are among the pollinators attracted to the garden by the Forest lily's bright flowers.
Indoor plant
May be planted indoors, but not in direct sunlight.
Pot plant
Forest Lilies make excellent pot plants, particularly when planted in shaded patios and windowsills.
Attracts butterflies
In cooler climes the Hummingbird Moth is attracted to these flowers.

Geography

Origin
South Africa, Eastern Cape, Southern Cape
Natural climate
Temperate

Environment

Light
Partial Sun
Soil moisture
Dry
Soil type
Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil PH preference
Acid, Neutral
Frost hardiness
Half-Hardy

Personality

Family
Hyacinthaceae
Flower colour
Pale pink, deep rose pink, orange pink, occasionally greenish-yellow
Scent
None

Problems

Apart from the occasional slug or snail, Forest lilies have no particular pests or diseases.

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