Yellow cobra lily

Yellow cobra lily

Chasmanthe floribunda 'Duckittii'

Scientific name

Chasmanthe floribunda ''Duckittii' is an attractive deciduous, winter-growing, cormous geophyte with fresh green sword-shaped leaves and spikes of canary yellow long-tubed flowers during winter to early spring.

Conservation status: Rare. This variety is found at only a few locations in the vicinity of the town of Darling in the Western Cape.

Chasmanthe is a purely South African genus with three species, Chasmanthe aethiopica, Chasmanthe bicolor and Chasmanthe floribunda, all of which occur only in the Cape flora.

Chasmanthe floribunda plants form small colonies and prefer sunny, well watered sites. In nature they are found in dampish spots on rocky outcrops. This particular variety with its distinctive yellow flowers is only found in a few locations in the vicinity of Darling. The most common and widespread form of Chasmanthe floribunda has orange-red flowers and is found in coastal and montane flora on sandstone and granite soils from the Bokkeveld mountains to Hermanus.

Propagation instructions

By seed

Propagation is by offsets and seed in trays deep enough to give sufficient room for the growth of the developing rootstock; a 10-cm deep tray is recommended. The medium must be well-drained and should be kept moist but not wet. The trays must be kept in a semi-shaded position for the first season. The young corms can be planted out into the garden at the beginning of their second season, when some of them may flower for the first time.

Chasmanthe requires a well-drained, well-composted soil, and will tolerate summer irrigation during the plants' dormant period, provided the soil is well-drained. The plants must be well-watered during autumn and winter which is their growing-season.

By cutting

Chasmanthe floribunda increases itself naturally by producing cormlets (small corms / offsets / daughter corms) around the base of the parent corm, which can be removed during the dormant period and replanted in early autumn. If left undisturbed they will grow up around the parent forming cormlets of their own so that in time a single plant can form a dense colony.

The corms should be planted 3-5 cm deep and are best left undisturbed for several years. Corms that have been lifted and replanted will take at least a season to re-establish themselves and often will not flower the season after replanting.

References and further reading

PlantZAfrica profile »

Wikipedia page »

Image credit: Paul Hoekman
Seedbank Quantity
Arundel Seedbank 50
Total 50
We currently have no plants of this species in our home nurseries. Do you have any plants or do you know where we can get some? Get in touch!

This table below shows how many plants we are trying to obtain for this species.

Site Area Quantity
Site #25 Rosebank 100
Site #28 Mowbray 40
Site #29 Mowbray 40
Site #30 Rosebank 120
Site #31 Rosebank 30
Site #47 Rosebank 60
Site #58 Rosebank 100
Site #62 Newlands 30
Total 520

Important characteristics

This species was selected because it has various important characteristics.

Easy to grow

Suitable for clay soil

Suitable for sandy soil

It provides food for:


Southern double-collared sunbird

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