Ammocharis coranica

Botanical Name

Ammocharis coranica

Other names

Karoo lily; Koranna lily; ground lily; knopieskop (Afrikaans); gifbol (Afrikaans); Ammocharis falcata




Bulbous plant, when in bloom up to 30 cm in height

Description of stem

Bulb can reach 30 cm in diameter; hard papery exterior

Description of leaves

Grey-green, smooth and strap-like, truncated with smooth parallel edges, emanating from the bulb in a characteristic pattern of obliquely stacked leaves, sometimes erect, but often prostrate

Description of flowers

Variable (according to geographic region?) from pale pink to cerise and wine-red; tips of petals start off creamish pink, gradually getting darker with the age of the flower; petals recurving gradually, perianth tube about 1,5 cm, anthers horseshoe shaped;

Description of seed/fruit

Fleshy seed capsule

Description of roots

Large, fleshy roots


Flower colour variation (should be studied for clarification)

Propagation and cultivation

Seed germinates easily; bulbs can be transplanted, takes a year or two to re-establish the roots upon transplantation


Grows in clay or sandy soil in full sun; drought resistant, but also copes in higher rainfall areas, good drainage needed; frost resistant


Popular garden plant; grazed by game and cattle

Ecological rarity

Fairly common

Pests and diseases





Karoo areas, summer rainfall grassland

Distribution (SA provinces)

Eastern Cape; Western Cape; Kwazulu-Natal; Mpumalanga


South Africa; Swaziland; Zimbabwe