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Veltheimia bracteata
  • RHS AGM

forest lily

A bulbous perennial to 45cm with a basal rosette of strap-shaped, undulate, glossy leaves, and spike-like racemes of tubular pink flowers on stout erect purplish stems

Other common names
unicorn root
Synonyms
Veltheimia viridifolia Jacq.
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Size
Ultimate height
0.1–0.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0.1–0.5 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green Purple Pink
Summer
Autumn
Winter Green Purple Pink
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

South–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H2
Botanical details
Family
Asparagaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Clump forming
Genus

Veltheimia are bulbous perennials with strap-shaped leaves and stout stems each bearing a terminal raceme of nodding, tubular flowers

Name status

Correct

Plant range
S Africa (Cape)

How to grow

Cultivation

Best container grown in a loam-based compost with added sharp sand and in full sun. Grow under glass but can be placed outside in warm weather. Re-pot only when congested to avoid root disturbance; plant in autumn with neck of bulb just above soil surface. Water freely when in growth and apply a low bitrogen liquid fertilizer every two weeks. Keep just moist when dormant. Needs protection from frost and low temperatures

Propagation

Propagate by seed in autumn or offsets in late summer

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Patio and container plants
  • Low Maintenance
Pruning

Cut back flowers as they fade

Pests

Generally pest-free

Diseases

Generally disease-free

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