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Hesperantha coccinea is often confused with:
Gladiolus Flower
Native alternative(s) for Hesperantha coccinea:
Lobelia cardinalis Flowers
Monarda didyma Flowers
Phlox P. douglasii- creeping phlox
Salvia greggii Form of 'wild thing'
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Farfugium japonicum Farfugium japonicum
Lycoris radiata Whole plant
Viola sororia Viola papilionacea

Hesperantha coccinea

Previously known as:

  • Schizostylis coccinea
Phonetic Spelling
ski-zo-STYE-lus kok-SIN-ee-uh
Description

Crimson River lily is a clump forming, rhizomatous, flowering perennial native to South Africa in the Iridaceae (iris family).  The genus name is derived from the Greek word hesperos, which means "evening", and anthos, meaning "flower" as it blooms at night. The species name coccinea means "scarlet" refering to the striking red color of the flowers.  In the wild, Crimson River lily is found in wet areas and beside streams, thus, it will tolerate poorly drained soils. The common name, Scarlet River lily comes from the fact that it is never found away from a wet or moist environment with a stream often running over and through the plants.

Plant in full sun or light shade in consistently moist loamy sand soils in a protected location sheltered from wind. Do not allow the soil to dry out while the plant is active, but moisture can be reduced when the plant is dormant in the winter. It may struggle in the heat and humidity of southern summers.  If rhizomes are kept in the ground overwinter, provide mulch to protect them from winter temperatures. Clumps will grow 1 to 2 feet tall and 1/2 to 1 1/2 feet wide. Unlike most species in this genus that are grown from corms, the Crimson River lily spread from rhizomes. However, propagation by division can be done in the spring. Crimson River lily is sometimes grown in pots that are brought indoors before first fall frost or you can dig the rhizomes up in fall and store them in a cool basement in peat moss that has only a touch of moisture.

Crimson River lily makes an excellent, unusual, long-lasting cut flower.  In a perennial border, it adds an exciting touch of red color in October and looks good combined with yellow goldenrods and blue asters.  Use in a meadow planting or naturalized area or tuck into a small space in the landscape.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: 

No serious problems.

More information on Hesperantha.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#small spaces#red flowers#high maintenance#stream banks#rhizomatous#border planting#clumping#naturalized area#flowers late summer#wet soils tolerant#flowers early fall#meadows
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#small spaces#red flowers#high maintenance#stream banks#rhizomatous#border planting#clumping#naturalized area#flowers late summer#wet soils tolerant#flowers early fall#meadows
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Hesperantha
    Species:
    coccinea
    Family:
    Iridaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Bulb
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Root Cutting
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 9 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Perennial
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Maintenance:
    High
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Moist
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Spike
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Cup
    Flower Petals:
    6 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Showy scarlet red cup shaped flowers with 6 petals appear from August to October and are 2 1/2 inches wide on 2 foot tall spikes resembling gladiolus. There are 4 to 14 flowers on each spike.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Rosulate
    Leaf Shape:
    Linear
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Clumping grass like basal green leaves reach 18" in length and can remain evergreen in mild winters.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Cutting Garden
    Rain Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Wet Soil