Schizostylis coccinea
Common Name: crimson flag lily 
Type: Bulb
Family: Iridaceae
Native Range: South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland
Zone: 7 to 9
Height: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 0.75 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: August to October
Bloom Description: Scarlet
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: High
Flower: Showy


Winter hardy to USDA Zones 7-9 where it should be grown in consistently moist soils in full sun to light shade. Soils should never be allowed to dry out during the growing season, but soil moisture should be reduced in winter when plants are dormant. Grows well in sandy loams. Shelter from strong winds. Plants dislike the high heat and humidity of summers in the deep South. In St. Louis, this plant should be overwintered indoors in temperatures of 40-50 degrees F., with options including (1) grow in pots that are brought indoors before first fall frost or (2) dig rhizomes in fall before first frost and store them in a cool basement in peat moss that has only a touch of moisture. If attempted outside in St. Louis, plants should be sited in a protected locations (e.g., the south side of a house) and mulched (leaves, pine needles, salt hay) to provide additional protection from winter cold.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Schizostylis coccinea, commonly called Crimson flag or Crimson River lily is a clump-forming member of the Iris family that grows from a rhizome instead of a corm. It is native to damp meadows and stream banks in South Africa, Swaziland and Zimbabwe. Outward-facing, six-petaled, cup-shaped, scarlet flowers (each to 2 1/2" wide) bloom from late summer to fall on leafless, gladiolus-like, one-sided spikes (to 2' tall) which rise from a clump of narrow linear grass-like basal leaves (to 18" long). Each flower spike contains 4-14 flowers. In warm winter climates, bloom may continue into winter with foliage remaining essentially evergreen.

Synonymous with Hesperantha coccinea.

Genus name comes from the Greek words schizo meaning to divide and stylis meaning a column or style as the style is divided into three parts.

Specific epithet means scarlet.


No serious insect or disease problems.


Sunny borders.