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Tommymoo's Garden

Blood flower (Scadoxus multiflorus ssp. multiflorus)

Species: Scadoxus multiflorus ssp. multiflorus.

* before summer 2011, 1 bulb from Cherry Lane GC
* 15 May 2012 1 bulb -ditto- @99p

In 2011, it produced leaves but didn't flower.

Common name: Blood Lily, Football Lily, Powderpuff Lily

It requires semi-shade and will flourish even in heavy shade.

It may be deciduous and go dormant in winter in colder climates. It is frost sensitive.

Minimum temperature: -1 to 4ÂșC.

Soil: well-drained, rich and light, with plenty of leaf-mould or well-rotted compost.

The plants benefit greatly from regular liquid feeding.

It likes plentiful water when in active growth, but dislikes water-logged soils.

This is a very useful plant for shady gardens, a handsome pot subject for a large container on a shady step, and it is recommended as an indoor plant. It looks particularly effective in large groups under trees, where they do not seem to mind competition from tree roots, provided the soil is good.

Propagation is by seed and offsets. The seed should be sown as soon as it is ripe. This does not necessarily mean that the berries must be removed the minute they turn red. If they are not under threat from birds, or curious children, they can be left on without harming the seed until they start to look a bit wrinkled, which should be around early spring. Clean the pulp off, with care as the seed underneath is soft and fleshy. The best is to rub or peel it off. Use a well-drained, light potting mix, press the seed gently into the soil, do not cover it but leave the tops just visible or level with the soil surface. Keep damp but not waterlogged. Flowers can be expected from the third season onwards. Offsets should be removed after flowering i.e. in autumn, and replanted immediately.

Watch out for the Amaryllis lily borer which can severely damage the whole plant. Slugs and snails can damage the foliage.

Photos of this plant