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A picture of a Forest Lily

Forest Lily

Veltheimia bracteata

Also known as

Unicorn Root, Forest Sand-Lily, Winter Red Hot Poker

Photo by NatalieRS (All rights reserved)

Full Shade
Easy care
Light watering


RHS hardiness


Minimum temperature

Expected size









  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

More images of Forest Lily

A photo of Forest Lily
A photo of Forest Lily

Forest Lily Overview

The Forest lily is an exceptionally beautiful bulb plant, flowering in hues of pink and red. It is easy to grow and require little water and attention. Forest lilies bloom throughout winter until early spring. Being bird-pollinated, these flowers attract a multitude of birds to gardens. Veltheimia capensis is known as the Sand lily, growing in sandy patches in forest areas.

Common problems with Forest Lily

Apart from the occasional slug or snail, Forest lilies have no particular pests or diseases.

How to harvest Forest Lily

Pick flowers for the vase when in flower.

How to propagate Forest Lily


Propagation by seed is generally very successful. Bulbs must be planted during autumn, at or just below ground level, and left undisturbed for a long period. New bulbs should flower after one season.


Stems should be removed in summer, after foliage has died down. Plant immediately in 30 cm to 40 cm deep soil.

Special features of Forest Lily

Attracts birds

In warmer countries Hummingbirds are among the pollinators attracted to the garden by the Forest lily's bright flowers.

Indoor plant

May be planted indoors, but not in direct sunlight.

Pot plant

Forest Lilies make excellent pot plants, particularly when planted in shaded patios and windowsills.

Attractive leaves

Attracts butterflies

In cooler climes the Hummingbird Moth is attracted to these flowers.

Drought resistant

Attractive flowers

Flowers may be pale pink, deep rose pink, orange pink, occasionally greenish-yellow.

Red Flowering Summer Plants

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