Schizostylis coccinea

3 Oct

Schizostylis coccinea Flower (08/09/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Schizostylis coccinea Flower (08/09/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun

Flowering period: Late summer to autumn

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 60cm

Eventual Spread: 30cm

Hardiness: 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b

Family: Iridaceae

Schizostylis coccinea is a fast growing, clump forming, evergreen, herbaceous perennial. Its mid green leaves are lanceolate with entire margins, up to 30cm long and 1cm broad. Its red flowers have 6 petals, up to 5cm across and are produced on a spike of groups of up to 10.

Schizostylis coccinea, commonly known as the River Lily, Keffir Lily or Crimson Flag, is native to South Africa and Zimbabwe. Schizostylis coccinea is synonymous with Hesperantha coccinea.

The etymological root of the binomial name Schizostylis is derived from the Greek schiz meaning ‘to split’ and stylis meaning ‘the styles of a flower’, in reference to the three styles of this genus. Coccinea is from the Latin meaning ‘of scarlet colour’, in reference to the colour of the flower.

Schizostylis coccinea (08/09/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Schizostylis coccinea (08/09/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

The landscape architect may find  Schizostylis coccinea useful as an autumn flowering, evergreen perennial. It work well as part of a mixed herbaceous planting scheme.

Ecologically, Schizostylis coccinea is attractive to pollinating insects.

The Royal Horticultural Society has given a number of varieties of  Schizostylis coccinea their prestigious Award of Garden Merit.

Schizostylis coccinea prefers moist, humus rich, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil. It dislikes dry soils.

Schizostylis coccinea requires little maintenance. Large clumps may be divided in spring.

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