Clivia miniata

Botanical name

Clivia miniata

Other names

Bush lily; boslelie (Afrikaans)




A perennial plant growing from bulbous root core or stem that acts as a leaf base to about 60 cm, clump forming

Description of stem

Leaves emanate from bulb

Description of leaves

Strap shaped dark green leaves of up to 50cm emanating from a fleshy underground stem

Description of flowers

Lavish umbels of orange, salmon or peach coloured trumpet, lily-type flowers appearing in spring; the inner ring of three petals usually bigger than the outer three; a lighter, yellow colour is found in inner base of the trumpet

Description of seed/fruit

A red berry

Description of roots

Thick and robust roots emanate from the base of the plant



Propagation and cultivation

Plant in well-drained, slightly acid soil, ph between 5.5 and 6.5; partly to fully shaded areas; grown from seed or offsets that are produced spontaneously by mature plants, also by dividing the base; will flower when bulbs are about three years old; needs more watering and slow-release fertiliser in spring and summer; used as houseplants in colder areas although some find them to perform well in cold years


Protect from frost and excessive full sunlight


Popular garden subject, widely cultivated, notably also in the Far East; wide-spread medicinal use is made of the plant

Ecological rarity

Not threatened

Pests and diseases



Contains lycorine, a poison; exported from South Africa since mid-19th century; other Clivia species, such as nobilis, gardenii and caulescens also come from South Africa


Shady cool and moist forest areas, sub-tropical coastal forests, growing in humus rich leaf mould

Distribution (SA provinces)

Kwazulu-Natal; Eastern Cape; Mpumalanga


South Africa; Swaziland