Blood Lily or Paintbrush Plant
The Blood Lily is quite a magnificent flower. It grows up to 500 mm in height and has a red-brown spotted flowering stem and glossy green, wave-like leaves. The magnificent inflorescence, which is 150 mm wide, has red to red-brown bracts which encircle the massive dark orange to red coloured flowers. The flowering time is from October to November.
The Blood Lily can be found growing in shade in grassveld and in rocky areas in the northern reaches of South Africa, and north up into Tanzania.
The fleshy red berries are a preferred meal for birds and squirrels.
The Blood Lily was classified as Haemanthus magnificus but separated recently from the genus due it stalked leaves. The bulbs of the Blood Lily contain toxins that can be harmful in large doses but are used together with the roots for a range of ailments including colds, asthma, leprosy and even as an antidote to poison.