We want to hear from you! Please take this short, anonymous survey to help us improve the DG home page.

Crimson Flag, Cape Lily, River Lily

Hesperantha coccinea

Family: Iridaceae (eye-rid-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Hesperantha (hes-per-ANTH-uh) (Info)
Species: coccinea (kok-SIN-ee-uh) (Info)
Synonym:Schizostylis coccinea



Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


9-12 in. (22-30 cm)


USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

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)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall

Late Fall/Early Winter



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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)

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds


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

Sacramento, California

Ocala, Florida

Columbia, South Carolina

Houston, Texas

Port Townsend, Washington

Tacoma, Washington

Vancouver, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jan 9, 2015, sladeofsky from Louisville, KY (Zone 6b) wrote:

Though I have not tried this plant myself, several sources whom I trust state that this plant is much more cold hardy than listed, even into zone 5b.


On Nov 15, 2012, vossner from Richmond, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Reminds me of watsonia, which strangely, I can't keep alive in my garden. Hesperantha doing quite well so nice substitute.


On Aug 22, 2012, gregr18 from Bridgewater, MA (Zone 6b) wrote:

I have been able to overwinter this plant in the ground in zone 6b. So far, I haven't had much luck getting blooms, but I plan to move it to a wetter area where I think it would perform better.


On Sep 13, 2011, soilsandup from Sacramento, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

I like this plant because it adds color to the garden in times of the year when there is not too much other blooms - late summer, fall and sporadically at other times of the year. It does tend to spread so I have to constantly pull out plants so that they don't overrun the place.


On Jul 27, 2008, pyromomma from Columbia, SC (Zone 7b) wrote:

Name change from Schizostylis (also spelled Schizostylus)
AKA Kaffir Lily, though name is in disfavor because of the derogatory use in South Africa towards native SA peoples.

Until about 2002 Schizostylus was a separate genus. It was recently combined with Hesperantha. The 1994 edition of the RHS Index of Garden Plants lists Schizostylis as a separate genus of Iridaceae (The Iris Family). It is in fact NOT a lily, Kaffir or otherwise.