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*The flowers that can be seen in photo 3 are not from this plant, but from a neighbouring tree.

This plant is growing outside our offices in Johannesburg, South Africa. I friend of mine dug one up in the wild some years ago. It has a bulbous root. That one was growing in full sun, those shown here are in mostly shade. The berries ripen to a bright red. These photos were all taken today, which is a bright, sunny Spring day here. The plant is about 80cm tall.

The leaves are broad and waxy. The plant has spots on the stem as can be seen in photo 4. It does not die off in the Winter (at least not that I've seen), but if it is cut down, it grows to the size seen here very quickly.

  • a member of the aroid family by the flower and sheathe
    – kevinskio
    Commented Sep 30, 2014 at 15:07

1 Answer 1


I have similar plants in my garden, which I bought under the "Paintbrush lily" (Scadoxus puniceus) at the Lowveld Botanical garden. They have similar leaves and spots. I'm surprised you don't mention the flowers which are spectacular and, as the name suggests, paintbrush like.

So I would say, it is a species of Scadoxus. You'll find 3 species in this photo.

Scadoxus species

The fruit you describe also correspond to the genus - below Scadoxus puniceus, showing the spots clearly.

enter image description here

Have a look on plantzafrica.com to pinpoint the species - it's hard to tell from your photos.

S. multiflorus here: http://www.plantzafrica.com/plantqrs/scadoxkath.htm, you'll also find S. puniceus, but I've reached my link limit.

The descriptions are pretty good, also look at distributions in relation to where your friend found it in the wild - that should enable you to ID to species level.

You could also try your luck on www.ispot.org.za for a definite ID.

  • Based on your photos, and others online, it looks like what I have is Scadoxus puniceus! Thanks for this answer!
    – Richard C
    Commented Dec 3, 2014 at 7:25

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