Wachendorfia paniculata

Scientific name

Wachendorfias have basal tufts of long, narrow, pleated leaves and bear erect spikes of starry, yellow flowers in spring and summer.

Their common name stems from the red sap of the corms, used as a dye, and the bright red-orange colour of the roots themselves. Red colour is a feature of many plants in the family Haemodoraceae (Haemo = Blood).

Likes well drained sandstone and gravelly soils (source: https://www.fernkloof.org.za/index.php/all-plants/plant-families/item/wachendorfia-paniculata).

Propagation instructions

By seed

The following advice applies to Wachendorfia thyrsiflora, but is the best available advice of a very similar plant (from: http://pza.sanbi.org/wachendorfia-thyrsiflora):

Propagation of Wachendorfia thyrsiflora is by seed and division. Seed is sown in autumn, in deep (minimum 10 cm) trays in any good seedling mix, and kept permanently moist. Seedlings will be ready for transplanting at the beginning of their third season, when they can be potted into individual pots/bags or planted into the garden. Flowering can be expected from their fourth season.

By cutting

Wachendorfia thyrsiflora multiplies rapidly, new rhizomes are produced annually, and it also has the ability to send out stolon-like outgrowths from the main rhizome, sometimes extending sideways for up to several metres, which are able to form new plants at the tip. Clumps are best divided after the flowering period in early summer and replanted immediately.

References and further reading

Wikipedia page »

Image credit: Andrew massyn
Seedbank Quantity
Tin Capsule Seedbank 185
Total 185
Nursery Quantity
Joydell 10
Mother Nursery 21
Nurturing for Nature Nursery 20
Total 51

Important characteristics

Conservation status: Least Concern

This species was selected because it has various important characteristics.

Easy to grow

Suitable for sandy soil

It provides food for:


Wachendorfia paniculata is indigenous to: Cape Flats Dune Strandveld Cape Flats Sand Fynbos Peninsula Shale Renosterveld

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