Clivia

Clivia is a flowering tropical bulb native to South Africa and related to amaryllis.

The flowers, usually orange, cluster together to form large showy blooms. Clivia can grow as high as three feet, with long, arching swordlike leaves. If you're not patient, you might want to purchase a mature plant—it takes a few years for clivias to bloom.

Orange clivia flowersThe roots are thick, sponge-like, and semi-epiphytic, meaning they need to be exposed to the air to survive. Planting clivia in soil will cause the roots to rot and the plant to eventually die.

The best way to grow clivia is to plant it in a pot in a coarse, well-drained soil. Orchid mixes are ideal. Clivia flowers come in shades of bright orange, red, and yellow, and the leaves are thick and glossy. To bloom, the plant should be kept in a cool, shady spot and allowed to dry out over the winter. Clivia needs filtered bright light, and will scorch in direct sunlight. It produces many seeds and is easy to propagate.

Clivia--Chicago Botanic Garden