Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Fireball, Katherine-wheel
Scadoxus multiflorus subsp. katherinae

Family: Amaryllidaceae (am-uh-ril-id-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Scadoxus (ska-DOKS-us) (Info)
Species: multiflorus subsp. katherinae
Additional cultivar information: (aka Katharinae)

Synonym:Haemanthus katherinae

One vendor has this plant for sale.

6 members have or want this plant for trade.


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

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:
Partial to Full Shade

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Suitable for growing in containers

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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By Kiepersol
Thumbnail #1 of Scadoxus multiflorus subsp. katherinae by Kiepersol

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4 positives
No neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative Nanmac61 On Dec 31, 2013, Nanmac61 from Brisbane
Australia wrote:

Beautiful flower, very dangerous. Would not have around young children. Nearly lost out pet dog due to allergic reaction to her fur touching the flowers. Be very aware.

Positive michaelhickman On Mar 31, 2013, michaelhickman from Durban
South Africa wrote:

Where I live 30 km north of Durban, South Africa Scadoxus multiflorus subsp. katherinae is found growing naturally in shallow nutrient poor water in coastal swamp forest. I have had very good results growing plants both indoors as well as outdoors from seed which I collected in the wild. The seeds were planted in pots filled with pure fine sand which were placed in large deep drip trays that I keep filled with water. As the plants have outgrown their pots I have moved them into larger pots with larger drip trays. I feed the plants on a regular basis with a variety of liquid fertilisers both organic as well as inorganic. Every so often I empty out the water from the drip tray and flush out the pots with fresh water. A word of warning do not try growing your plants in water if they are potted into compost or other organic based compost as the bulbs will probably rot

Positive GardenGuruLOL On Mar 16, 2010, GardenGuruLOL from Orlando, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

Amazing flower! Looks like exploding wireworks! Foliage is also nice after flowers fade. I have mine in pots so they can be moved to a shadier spot to prolong the blooms in the summer and to a dry spot for the winter. I have successfully started babies from seed. (I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, free plants!!) I waited until the seed "berries" turned black, picked them off the plant, removed the outer skin, let them dry a day or so, planted them in potting soil, and waited a couple of weeks. (4 out of 10 seeds sprouted) They are about 3-4 inches tall so far - with a long way to go. Scadoxus is surprisingly hardy in Orlando's hot/dry conditions and take a fair amount of abuse (cramped pots, infrequent watering).
Scadoxus is used medicinally and as an arrow/fishing poison in some parts of Africa!!! Rememberůsome dogs (oků mineů) love eating seed "berries" when allowed to roam the yard!!!!

Positive jmorth On Nov 23, 2008, jmorth from Divernon, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:

Very showy. Grown in pots that are over-wintered in basement.

Positive Kiepersol On Jan 10, 2007, Kiepersol from Johannesburg
South Africa wrote:

This Spectacular Fireball Lily origanates from tropical forests on the east coast of Africa .where it grows in wet shaded areas.The stem is 40cm high and 25mm in diameter. Leaves are large up to 70cm long .The flower is a huge umbel consisting of up to 200 smaller flowers. The flower stem is up to 100cm long. Seed displays as decorative red berries. Fireball is evergreen in warm areas but dormant for a short period in colder areas.A good Focus point in shade,Ideal for mass planting, good companion plant for clivias. Thrives indoor and outdoors


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

Chula Vista, California
San Leandro, California
Lake Worth, Florida
Orlando, Florida
Panama City, Florida
Rockledge, Florida
Trenton, Florida
Mililani, Hawaii
Houston, Texas

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