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Sandersonia aurantiaca

Sandersonia aurantiaca

Fall is a great time to plant Sandersonia aurantiaca which is a wonderful climbing plant with dainty golden bell shaped flowers in summer.

Also known as the Chinese Lily Lantern (although it is from South Africa), Christmas Bells (yet it flowers in summer) and Golden Lily of the Valley (yet it is not related).

Sandersonia aurantiaca is the only species in the genus, so it is rather unique. However it is related to two other plants with similar habit, Gloriosa and Littonia.

Blooms are picked and sold as cut flowers and are even exported.

This is a tuber rather than a bulb and it has an interesting growth habit.

In the natural environment they grow in a climate of wet summers and relatively dry winters, so we need to mimic this, lots of moisture when they are growing, dry in winter. So the zone you live in will determine the care needed. A temperate to sub tropical climate is best, but if you are interested give them a try. Sandersonia in full flower are a rewarding plant.

Lifting and dividing

  • Once the flowering stems have died back some gardeners like to lift the tubers for winter, others (those in warmer climates) may leave then in the ground.
  • Whichever method you will need to add organic matter every 2 - 3 years as Sandersonia aurantiaca are a hungry plant.

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