Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Forest Lily, Sand Onion (sandui), Winter Red Hot Poker
Veltheimia bracteata

Family: Hyacinthaceae
Genus: Veltheimia (velt-HIME-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: bracteata (brak-tee-AY-tuh) (Info)

3 vendors have this plant for sale.

13 members have or want this plant for trade.


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

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

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Pale Pink

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring


Other details:
This plant is suitable for growing indoors
Suitable for growing in containers

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From leaf cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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3 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Botanist101 On Mar 6, 2014, Botanist101 from Clinton, MS wrote:

I am zone 8 and have not tried Veltheimia outdoors. However, I have experience growing this bulb in the greenhouse. Rule 1. Water when growing and allow soil to dry between waterings else you risk rot. Rule 2. Allow most of the bulb (2/3rds to 3/4ths) to be above the soil surface else they will rot if watered too much. Doing this reduces the chances of rot. Rule 3. NEVER ever water during its dormant phase which is a good portion of the year. At the first signs of green growth after the dormant period, then start to gradually water.

I killed my first 2 bulbs not following these rules. Now I have 4 and several side bulblets developing. I get a nice crop of blooms this time of the year. This is a must have for a collector.

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Positive santa_barbarian On Jul 15, 2013, santa_barbarian from Santa Barbara, CA wrote:

Effortless riparian beauty. This is one of the most amazing plants in my garden. I have it planted under oak trees in Santa Barbara and it thrives with only the rain we get in the winter---no other water. The winter blooms hang on till almost June, then the plant begins its decent to almost nothing, then resprouts in the fall to begin again. With a little effort, I can divide in the fall and replant in dappled shade.

Positive cinemike On Feb 16, 2012, cinemike from CREZIERES
France (Zone 8a) wrote:

I think this plant its hardier than generally thought. I have two pots of 6-month-old seedlings in my unheated greenhouse and they survived through two weeks of outside temperatures below -15C. The compost in the pots was totally frozen but no sign of either foliage or bulb damage.
Definitely worth a trial in zone 8 and maybe below.


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

Brentwood, California
Los Angeles, California (2 reports)
Montecito, California
Newport Beach, California
Richmond, California
Sacramento, California
San Leandro, California
Vista, California
Clinton, Mississippi
Chillicothe, Ohio
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

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