Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Pennants, Orange Cobra Lily
Chasmanthe floribunda

Family: Iridaceae (eye-rid-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Chasmanthe (chas-MAN-thee) (Info)
Species: floribunda (flor-ih-BUN-duh) (Info)

Synonym:Antholyza aethiopica

One vendor has this plant for sale.

7 members have or want this plant for trade.


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

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

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Mid Winter


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

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

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

Click thumbnail
to view:

By Baa
Thumbnail #1 of Chasmanthe floribunda by Baa

By Ulrich
Thumbnail #2 of Chasmanthe floribunda by Ulrich

By ladyannne
Thumbnail #3 of Chasmanthe floribunda by ladyannne

By kennedyh
Thumbnail #4 of Chasmanthe floribunda by kennedyh

By kennedyh
Thumbnail #5 of Chasmanthe floribunda by kennedyh

By ladyannne
Thumbnail #6 of Chasmanthe floribunda by ladyannne


4 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive manza On Jul 7, 2012, manza from Long Beach, CA (Zone 10b) wrote:

This is also called Greater Cobra Lily.

Positive Susan_C On Feb 1, 2009, Susan_C from Alameda, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

This is one tough plant; never bothered by snails and slugs and requires absolutely no care, except for regular water. It does well in full sun to almost full shade. Here, it begins to bloom in late January/early Feburary and continues for about a month.

Both humans and hummingbirds are happy to see these bright orange flowers during a time when the rest of the garden is mostly dormant. They do seed around and the corms multiply as well, but I find them very easy to pull up if they appear where I don't want them. A friend of mine has them planted along a fence that has Hardenbergia growing up it. The Hardenbergia blooms at the same time, and the vivid combo of purple and orange is pretty eye-popping.

Positive davidjoburg On Dec 29, 2008, davidjoburg from Johannesburg
South Africa wrote:

Chasmanthe floribunda var. duckittii is an attractive deciduous, winter-growing, cormous geophyte with fresh green sword-shaped leaves and spikes of canary yellow long-tubed flowers during winter to early spring. A corm is a bulb-like, shortened, swollen underground stem with one or more regenerative buds on it, enclosed by dry, scale-like leaf bases called tunics. Like a true bulb, it is a food store for the plant. Dormant during the summer, the corms resprout in autumn (March-April in South Africa)) with the onset of cooler wet weather, the leaves growing to a height of approx. 1 m. Chasmanthe flowers are pollinated by sunbirds. The fruit is a capsule of large, rounded orange seeds.

Chasmanthe floribunda plants form small colonies and prefer sunny, well watered sites. In nature they are found in dampish spots on rocky outcrops. This particular variety with its distinctive yellow flowers, is only found in a few locations in the vicinity of Darling. The more common and widespread variety Chasmanthe floribunda var. floribunda has orange-red flowers and is found in coastal and montane flora on sandstone and granite soils from the Bokkeveld mountains to Hermanus.

Chasmanthe is a purely South African genus with three species, Chasmanthe aethiopica, Chasmanthe bicolor and Chasmanthe floribunda, all of which occur only in the Cape flora.

Chasmanthe floribunda var. duckittii was named in honour of the Duckitt family of Darling. They created wildflower reserves and have been instrumental in the operation of the spring wildflower shows in Darling. The genus name Chasmanthe is derived from the Greek 'chasme' meaning gaping and 'anthos' meaning flower, alluding to the shape of the corolla. The specific name 'floribunda' is Latin for many-flowered, or producing abundant flowers. Chasmanthe floribunda was initially classified as Pentamenes floribunda and may be found by that name in the older botanical literature.

A large bed of Chasmanthe floribunda var. duckittii can be found at the main entrance to Kirstenbosch in Cape Town, along the road between the main entrance and the Visitor Centre and in the Visitor Centre car park. They can also be found in a bed just above the Waterwise Garden. In all cases they are interplanted with either evergreen or deciduous species of Agapanthus, as they compliment each other very well. The Agapanthus is a summer grower with flowers in mid to late summer, while the Chasmanthe is a winter grower, with flowers in mid-winter to early spring. Thus, when the Chasmanthe is underground, the Agapanthus is there to fill the gap, and vice versa.

Positive ladyannne On Jun 21, 2004, ladyannne from Merced, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

We have this growing behind a long area in the shade. It provides an excellent background EXCEPT it invades like crazy unless you clip the spent flowers to prevent the seeds from dropping everywhere. The hummers love it, and it is one of the earliest spring hummer foods when very little else is blooming in January. Very reliable sturdy plant.

Neutral Baa On Jan 19, 2003, Baa wrote:

A cormous perennial from South Africa.

Has bright green, lance shaped leaves. Bears slim, tubular, orange or yellow flowers that can reach up to 3 inches long. The flowers are arranged on the flower spike opposite each other.

Flowers mainly June-August.

Loves a well-drained but constantly moist soil in a sheltered area in sun or light shade. It is just about frost hardy so it will need to be brought indoors during winter or in regions where frost is infrequent, given a deep mulch.

The plant pictured was bought 2 years ago as a corm, it was duly planted and produced 2 weak, thin leaves for the first year that died after a month of appearing. December 2002, I rediscovered the pot in the greenhouse and it had produced the leaves you see here!


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

Greensboro, Alabama
Alameda, California
Casa De Oro-mount Helix, California
Fremont, California
Long Beach, California
Manhattan Beach, California
Merced, California
Mission Viejo, California
San Diego, California

We recommend Firefox
Overwhelmed? There's a lot to see here. Try starting at our homepage.

[ Home | About | Advertise | Media Kit | Mission | Featured Companies | Submit an Article | Terms of Use | Tour | Rules | Privacy Policy | Contact Us ]

Back to the top

Copyright © 2000-2015 Dave's Garden, an Internet Brands company. All Rights Reserved.

Hope for America