Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Football Lily, African Blood Lily, Powderpuff Lily
Scadoxus multiflorus

Family: Amaryllidaceae (am-uh-ril-id-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Scadoxus (ska-DOKS-us) (Info)
Species: multiflorus (mul-tih-FLOR-us) (Info)

Synonym:Haemanthus multiflorus

7 vendors have this plant for sale.

43 members have or want this plant for trade.

View this plant in a garden


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

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)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer


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

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By scoring the base of the bulb to promote new bulblets

Seed Collecting:
Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible

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There are a total of 44 photos.
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18 positives
2 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive RoseDerosier On Jun 10, 2013, RoseDerosier from Lady Lake, FL wrote:

I have one of these beautiful plants, but I'm puzzled. I don't know where it came from. It is growing in a pot with a plant that was given to me about 4 years ago. This is the first time it has grown. The lady who gave me the plant said it was called a "yesterday, today and tomorrow".

Positive fireflyintexas On Dec 28, 2012, fireflyintexas from New Braunfels, TX wrote:

BEAuTIfUL plant! What a show it puts on every spring. I started with two bulbs several years ago and now I have several little plants coming up after the blooming period, for future beautiful orb-shaped neon lovelies. One of my bulbs is in fairly deep shade and it has bloomed as much as the bulb I planted in a bit sunnier-but-still-shady area. This is a most reliable plant....blooms every year and it is so worth is spectacular!

Positive zorba365 On Jun 28, 2010, zorba365 from Orlando, FL wrote:

This is a beautiful plant that my youngest daughter gave me about 2 years ago, it bloomed the first spring, which was 2009, and now this year there are 6 plants in the pot, two have bloomed and I am waiting to see how the others do. I do nothing except water this plant. I know nothing about this plant except what I have been reading on Dave's Garden. any and all tips on the care of this plant
would be really nice.

Neutral froggy11 On Dec 17, 2009, froggy11 from Sydney
Australia wrote:

I have around 100 blood lily seeds and they have started germinating,
I would like to know what is growing out of the seed, a root or a stem or what?

if it is the root I need to turn the seed over so the root will be down in the growing media.

Help would very much appreciated.


Positive jmorth On Dec 9, 2009, jmorth from Divernon, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:

It is a potted plant up here, overwintered dry in basement. Stunning visual impact.

Positive leiannec On Nov 9, 2009, leiannec from Oakland, CA wrote:

they look great, and do well in the mild bay area climate in pots

Positive sladeofsky On Mar 7, 2009, sladeofsky from Louisville, KY (Zone 6b) wrote:

Fears of this plant are way out of proportion to its toxicity. Unless you plan to make a meal of this plant, and even then you would have to eat a lot of it, this plant is not going to harm you. Even children don't chow down on the landscaping, so.. I would be aware of of the plants potential but I wouldn't fret about it. Some people may develop dermatitis from contact with the plants fluids. So I wouldn't go taking a weed-eater to it. Contact dermatitis is a much more likely problem than poisoning.

Positive StarJazz On May 20, 2008, StarJazz from Conroe, TX wrote:

They are one of the most spectacular flowers I have ever grown. Back in the Philippines I had lots of them. Their buds sprout out from the ground like mushrooms in summer after sufficient amount of rain and leaves appear later. The look like fireballs in reddish pink color and they are always a head turner. Too bad, when I went back for a vacation after some years, they were all gone. I'm sure they did not just die bec. we had them for 3 generations. Now I'm looking for bulbs to plant. WIll someone help me. I'm from The Woodlands, Texas (just north of Houston). Thanks.

Negative SierraTigerLily On May 14, 2007, SierraTigerLily from Boca Raton, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:

I just ripped this bulb out of my garden. While it is beautiful, I would not knowingly plant such a toxic choice in my immediate courtyard. I made the mistake of purchasing bulbs from Home Depot without first researching them.

Positive holkurt On Aug 29, 2006, holkurt from Kihei, HI wrote:

My husband and I live on the island of Maui, Hawaii (zone 11), and this plant mysteriously appeared in our yard about 10 years ago. I had no idea what it was until I happened upon it in a book about bulbs. What started with one bulb is now about 25 plants and counting! I have been digging them up regularly to propagate the bulblets, and the plants don't seem to mind. They bloom year round and take much abuse. The slugs around here eat everything but our Scadoxus. They also don't seem to mind the very dry, hot, windy conditions in our area. Some are growing where there is no regular water. We let the seeds fall where they may, and we never know where they are going to pop up next. They are a permanent addition to our garden, and we will continue to grow these beauties for the rest of our lives.

Positive QueenB On Jun 26, 2006, QueenB from Shepherd, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I've had this bulb for two years now, and it's finally been in one place long enough to bloom. I was very surprised to find it today, since I hadn't been paying attention to it, and we've had really dry weather. It's the last week of June, and from all indications, it shouldn't be blooming right now, but I guess that four days of rain we had recharged it. I have a huge head of reddish-orange flowers, and the nice, large green leaves are pushing their way up. I love the floliage on this one.

Positive Monocromatico On Feb 19, 2006, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro
Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:

I planted a bulb two months ago, just before Christmas, and now its blooming in all its beauty. Its easy to cultivate (so far), but strangely, its not really popular over here. I say it should be.

Positive timrann On Dec 12, 2005, timrann from Other
Mauritius wrote:

I have several of these in my garden but must remember where they have been planted otherwise you can dammage them as they remain underneath the surface (the bulbs) after flowering ( as it dries quickly after )It can flower twice or annual it depends , when it is watered it flowers directly from the soil with little or no leaves. Here in Mauritius it flowers mainly in summer September to january and even before winter april may. And at this very moments it's in flower.

Positive ireland1 On Jul 8, 2005, ireland1 from county limerick
Ireland wrote:

Beautiful plant .Bought in county Dublin ireland as a plant in bloom in 2003.has bloomed every year since.
after die back ,stalk is cut and plant placed in dark room.
In spring plant is brought out on window sill and given a little water.
Plant is always kept at room temperature(12 degrees celcius)

Positive revlar On Jun 13, 2005, revlar from Brooksville, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Spectacular blooms well worth waiting for. Unfortunately it only blooms for a few weeks in late May and early June.

Positive GordonHawk On Aug 30, 2004, GordonHawk from Brooklyn, NY (Zone 7b) wrote:

I planted this bulb in the spring one year... I got lovely lovely flowers later that first year.. and then in the spring in later years... I have to be careful as I'm sometimes weeding out the flower before it can bloom in my spring weeding furry.. left alone it has grand large blooms... I grow it in a raised planter.. outside in weather and fullsun year round... I don't do anything to it.. for any season.. and find it's just the best... although I wish it flowered for a longer time...
This year I l eft the structure of the flower intact and got red berries which look like they contain seeds.. these I'll leave and try and ripen I guess and then sow some.. I'll post later as to what I find inside the berries and how they do... Gordon, Brooklyn,NY

Positive raven1 On Jul 4, 2004, raven1 from Tampa, FL wrote:

The African Blood Lily, is a unique bulb that only flowers in the spring. Where as to the leaves stay untill winter and go dormat until about Feb. or March. Then you will notice new growth when the new growth reaches a certain level of maturity the plant will produce a bloom that looks like a batroom scrungie small red tublar flowers forming a ball this flower will last about a week. It is truly unlike any bulb II have ever seen. It is Toxic and Posion to Humans and Pets So Please DO NOT LET CHILDREN TOUCH OR PICK THE FLOWER IF THEY DO WASH HANDS IF DIGESTED CALL YOUR LOCAL POSION CONTROL CENTER. YOU CAN FIND THIS NUMBER IN THE PHONE BOOK AND CALL 911 ALSO YOU MAY WANT TO KEEP YOPUR PETS VETS PHONE NUMBER HANDY AND CALL THEM IMMEDIATLEY

Positive susantx On Feb 20, 2004, susantx from Houston, TX wrote:

The flowers are truly spectacular. But I want to share additional info I found on the web I presume to be accurate, the search was done using the plant synonym "Gifwortel":

"These plants are poisonous. The genus Scadoxus contains alkaloid- rich, strongly toxic plants. Two species Scadoxus multiflorus and Scadoxus cinnabarinus are known to be used in Cameroon, Gabon, Angola and the Central African Republic in conjunction with a number of other plants, as an arrow poison. In Guinea and northern Nigeria the bulbs are used to make a fishing poison. The bulb is also used to treat dropsy, scabies and poorly healing wounds. In South Africa, Scadoxus puniceus appears to be more commonly used where it is used to treat coughs and gastro-intestinal problems and forms part of a medicine taken during pregnancy to ensure a safe delivery. Please be warned that these alkaloids are highly toxic and their indiscriminate use is potentially lethal. They are known to be lethal to stock, mainly goats and sheep grazing on them when other plants are scarce, and the leaves appear to have exactly the same toxic effects as the bulb.

There are nine species of Scadoxus, only three of which occur in South Africa. Other South African species in the genus include: Scadoxus membranaceus (= Haemanthus puniceus var. membranaceus), Scadoxus multiflorus subsp. multiflorus (= Haemanthus multiflorus, Haemanthus sacculus.) and Scadoxus puniceus (= Haemanthus magnificus, Haemanthus natalensis)"

Author: Alice Notten
February 2001

Positive dogbane On Nov 18, 2003, dogbane from New Orleans, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

This has been a very successful bulb for me. The flowers and foliage are both quite dramatic. Slugs do like to munch on it, though, so be ready for a fight.

Positive jns On Jun 2, 2002, jns from Miami, FL wrote:

I started with three bulbs and after 30 years I have over 150. There is the normal multiplacation and some self seeding. But I try to collect the seeds to give away. And I usually have a few in pots to give away. Because of the dry conditions they flowered in the last week of May instead of the second week. I'm looking for more species in this group.

Neutral Dinu On Jan 22, 2002, Dinu from Mysore
India (Zone 10a) wrote:

It blooms once a year and that happens only by last week of April and by end of May it is gone. (Summertime here). The fruit is a little fleshy ball of red, and not many go into fruition. The flower lasts for about a week. The fresh leaves appear after the flowering. The leaves die off in winter and the bulbs are dormant and it should not be watered during this time.


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

Decatur, Alabama
Fairhope, Alabama
Phoenix, Arizona
Oakland, California (2 reports)
San Leandro, California
Spring Valley, California
Bartow, Florida
Big Pine Key, Florida
Boca Raton, Florida
Bonita Springs, Florida
Brooksville, Florida (2 reports)
Dade City, Florida
Deland, Florida
Englewood, Florida
Gainesville, Florida
Hialeah, Florida
Hollywood, Florida (2 reports)
Interlachen, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida (2 reports)
Lady Lake, Florida (2 reports)
Lakeland, Florida
Melbourne, Florida
Naples, Florida
Orlando, Florida (3 reports)
Pensacola, Florida
Pompano Beach, Florida (2 reports)
Port Charlotte, Florida
Port Saint Joe, Florida
Riverview, Florida
Rockledge, Florida
Saint Petersburg, Florida
Sebastian, Florida
Spring Hill, Florida
Tampa, Florida
Trenton, Florida
Wauchula, Florida
Williston, Florida
Winter Haven, Florida (2 reports)
Zolfo Springs, Florida
Savannah, Georgia
Hawaiian Paradise Park, Hawaii
Kihei, Hawaii
Pepeekeo, Hawaii
Divernon, Illinois
Russell Springs, Kentucky
Ethel, Louisiana
Lafayette, Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana
Brooklyn, New York
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Winston Salem, North Carolina
Conway, South Carolina
Saint Helena Island, South Carolina
Austin, Texas
Floresville, Texas
Galveston, Texas
Houston, Texas (3 reports)
Kerrville, Texas
League City, Texas
New Braunfels, Texas
New Ulm, Texas
Richmond, Texas
Shepherd, Texas
Spring, Texas

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