Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Lily Grass, Weeping Anthericum
Anthericum saundersiae

Family: Liliaceae (lil-ee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Anthericum (an-THER-ih-kum) (Info)
Species: saundersiae

Synonym:Chlorophytum saundersiae

4 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Unknown - Tell us

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade


Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

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By RonniePitman
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By michaelhickman
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3 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive michaelhickman On Oct 8, 2012, michaelhickman from Durban
South Africa wrote:

Anthericum saundersiae Lily Grass or Weeping Anthericum Synonym: Chlorophytum saundersiae

This plant is named after Katharine Saunders plant collector and botanical artist who was born Katharine Wheelwright (1824-1901) in Tansor, Northamptonshire, England she emigrated to live at Tongaat, Natal with her husband James who later became the sole proprietor of the Tongaat Sugar Estate in 1860.

I first collected this plant which I found growing in full sun at the Treasure Beach grasslands in Durban in the late 1970`s. The tiny insignificant single stemmed specimen that I collected grew rapidly under my care and soon started to produce vast amounts of seed which germinated readily under the ideal conditions that I gave it and in no time at all I had large numbers of this delightful little plant. Anthericum saundersiae produces a profusion of little white star like flowers on long thin, arching stems from mid winter into late summer. Some years later I gave a number of my still unidentified plants to Geoff Nichols who took a specimen to the Natal Herbarium at Botanic Gardens where it was identified as Anthericum saundersiae. I grew and sold Anthericum saundersiae in my own nursery in small numbers but after they found their way to the Silver Glenn indigenous plant nursery they were propagated in large numbers making them much more available to the public.

In 2001 I went to stay in Germany where I became familiar with a very similar and popular specie Anthericum ramosa Syn. graminifolium so I was not at all surprised when I returned to South Africa seven years later and found Anthericum saundersiae growing in their countless thousands in nearly every new garden planting in and around Durban. Whether those plants now in cultivation came from the one tiny specimen that I collected way back in the 1970`s or from another source I do not know and probably will never know but the likely hood is certainly high.

Anthericum saundersiae is a very productive trouble free garden plant that grows to about 700 mm which is ideal for the natural garden in that it that attracts vast numbers of insects in particular large numbers of bee species from the very smallest to large bumble bees that when they land on the flower they weight them almost down to the ground causing them to bob up and down as the move from flower to flower setting the plants in motion as if they are dancing. I have observed that the foliage is also loved by Scrub Hares, domestic rabbits and in particular Egyptian Geese.

Although Anthericum saundersiae prefers to grow in full sun in fertile sandy soil it is a very versatile plant that will grow under almost any conditions in frost free areas.
Anthericum saundersiae propagates very easily and profusely from seed but can also be subdivided when seed is not available. Seed germinates best in raised seed beds or directly on the ground in prepared sandy soil with a little very well rotted compost added poor results may be obtained if seed is planted into a bark based growing medium in seed trays

Michael Hickman

Positive toppercat On Jun 18, 2006, toppercat from Brenham, TX wrote:

Small star-shaped white flowers on wand-like stems bloom from spring through frost in my back-door pot, with moss fern and variegated vinca vines. It also blends beautifully next to my antique roses in the beds, providing good textural contrast as the wands feed through the rose foliage. It looks especially fetching among my Belinda's Dream (silvery pink) and Maggie (deep rose) roses. Stands up well to our Gulf Coast heat and humidity.

Neutral michaeladenner On Mar 12, 2006, michaeladenner from Deland, FL wrote:

I have the variegated version of this plant planted around some rose bushes which get part-day sun (5-6 hours/day of sun, less in the winter). It blooms throughout the spring, and then intermittently in the summer. Pretty, but not full enough to use in a swale, as suggested by another user -- for that nothing beats Dietes vegata. My Anthericum forms divisible clumps, but was burned a bit by a frost we had (23 degrees F), so I doubt it will ever grow much beyond a smallish clump (1ftx1ft).

Positive sltxgardener On Feb 10, 2006, sltxgardener from Sugar Land, TX wrote:

I have both a variegated version and a non-variegated version and they look good all year in my zone 8a/9b garden as the grass-like foliage is evergreen here. They almost always have a few tiny, star-shaped, white blooms, so this is a great plant for year-round interest without a lot of color or dramatic impact.

Neutral seedlng On Jun 29, 2005, seedlng from Fort Lauderdale, FL wrote:

Anthericum liliago, St Bernard lily is a close relative


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Hobe Sound, Florida
Miami, Florida
Zephyrhills, Florida
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Austin, Texas

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