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An Exotic
World of Plants

The Plants
of the Palm House

Clivia miniata

English name: Clivia lily (Bush lily, Natal lily)

Latin name: Clivia miniata

Family: Amaryllis - Amaryllidaceae

Origin: Southern Africa

The clivia or bush lily is a perennial, growing naturally in wet, wooded areas. The leaves reach a length of 40 to 60 cm., and a breadth of 4 to 6 cm. Oppositely arranged and symmetrically arched on either side, the leaves fan out from the base. In older plants the base of each successive pair of leaves will overlap, forming a thickened shoot, similar to a short trunk. The leaf blade is leathery and dark green. The flowers, about 5 cm. in diameter, are cup-shaped. Depending on the variety, its colours vary from coral, through various shades of red and orange, to a lemon yellow. They grow 10- to 12-flower umbels at the top of the stem flowering. They flower between February and April; the flowers remain in bloom for several weeks.

The whole plant is poisonous, especially the base of the leaves and the stem. Symptoms of poisoning include salivation, vomiting and diarrhea, and a larger dose may even cause collapse and death. The clivia is cultivated in Europe as a potted plant. It has a fairly long life span and is easy to cultivate.

Clivia miniata