isiXhosa: Umathunga

Afrikaans: Veldskoenblaar

Blood flower


Blood flower

Haemanthus sanguineus

Scientific name

A bulbous plant about 300 mm high with two to three large - rounded leaves flat on the ground (like the soles of a shoe) that appear after flowering. The stout - red - flowering stem - often compressed and furrowed - bears the "paint-brush" flowerhead. This consists of a cup of about eight red bracts with numerous pink to red flowers crowded in the centre.

Bulb extracts are used for the treatment of internal wounds and for the treatment of broken bones, sprained ankles and other joint issues (Sustainable Livelihoods Foundation. 2015. The Wild Harvesting of Plant Medicines in Cape Town.)

Also known as blood lily | paintbrush lily | April Fool lily

References and further reading

Learn more »

Wikipedia page »

Can you help grow this species?

We are in need of this species! Can you help? Maybe you have this species at home, or perhaps you can collect seeds or cuttings (if applicable) from friends or from a public space. If so, why don't you help establish this species in areas where it is much needed!

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Important characteristics

This species was selected because it has various important characteristics.

It provides medicinal value

Suitable for clay soil

It provides food for:

Southern double-collared sunbird

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