Scarborough Lily

Cyrtanthus elatus

Family: Amaryllidaceae (am-uh-ril-id-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Cyrtanthus (ker-TAN-thus) (Info)
Species: elatus (el-AH-tus) (Info)
Synonym:Vallota speciosa
Synonym:Vallota purpurea
Synonym:Cyrtanthus purpureus




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


Unknown - Tell us


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)

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 Summer/Early Fall



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

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

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Mission Viejo, California

Piedmont, Missouri

Austin, Texas

Spring, Texas

Gardeners' Notes:


On Oct 15, 2014, Bombushumilis from Rye
United Kingdom wrote:

I bought an offset of this plant at a school fayre around 1972. Since then that line of plants has continued with new plants started from offsets. I gave one to my father who kept it going while I did not have the ability to keep one, but I have plants back from him again. As the plant has been propagated from offsets they are all genetically the same organism which makes them at least 42 years old. I do wonder how long they live and if they have been propagated this way since the planted was washed up from a wreck at Scarborough around 1800. I find them very easy to grow in pots in a clay soil. They flower for me around August/September. Great plant and one I am very attached to.


On Nov 13, 2012, Clivaryllis from Vancouver Island
Canada wrote:

Five years ago I bought this plant from a sale at a private school where I used to work. It was a tiny bulblet. I thought it would be a Hippeastrum because true Amaryllis plants are uncommon. So when it bloomed, I was amazed because it seemed like a cross between a Clivia (flowers) and a Hippeastrum (bulb and leaves) which isn't possible because Clivia and Hippeastrum are too genetically diverse to create hybrids. Recently found out it is a Cyrtanthus. The flowers are beautiful!
Plant is easy to grow and will set black, winged seeds. Plant seeds right away or keep them in the fridge no longer than 6 months. Two of the seeds I planted have sprouted (out of 9) and hopefully they will grow into bulbs and flower within 3 years! The internet says to use a mix of compost and sand instead... read more


On Mar 21, 2006, Buttoneer from Carlisle, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

I got this plant from a co-op on Davesgarden and I am exhilirated with it, now that it has opened up it's bloom in my greenhouse in zone 6b. It will have 3 flowers. I have tried to pollenate it, in the hopes it will develop seeds, but time will tell. The bloom is large for the size of the bulb and quite beautiful. It crowded the pot for me in 1 year and bloomed. What more could you ask for?