Kaffir lily brightens a shady situation.

Kaffir lily, Clivia miniata, and lily of the Nile seem to be similar but are very different. Both develop densely evergreen mounds of arched strap shaped leaves. Both bloom with many funnel shaped flowers in spherical umbels on upright stems. Even their thick and rubbery rhizomes and roots are similar. However, they are related neither to each other nor to lilies.

Kaffir lily bloom is rich orange, fiery orangish red or yellow. This is opposite of the pastel blue or white floral color range of lily of the Nile. While lily of the Nile requires abundant sunlight, Kaffir lily tolerates significant shade. Kaffir lily leaves and bloom are more stout and less pliable than those of lily of the Nile. Kaffir lily foliage is generally darker green.

Individual leaves of Kaffir lily can be three inches wide and about a foot and a half long. Mounding growth of old colonies can get more than two feet high. Bloom hovers barely above the foliage. A few round and bright red berries can develop after bloom. Individual seeds within each berry may be genetically variable. All parts of Kaffir lily, particularly the rhizomes, are toxic.


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