The Lovely Plants

Unique and Ornamental Cut Flower: Sandersonia aurantiaca

Sandersonia aurantiaca, the only species in its genus, is a very ornamental but less cultivated perennial from South Africa. Though, it is has been grown as ornamental houseplant for many years, it has not been grown commercially until recently when it has been recognized as a good commercial crop and a good alternative to orchid.

Sandersonia aurantiaca, Christmas Bells Flower

Sandersonia aurantiaca produces urn-shaped flowers of orange color usually at Christmas, that is why, it is also known as Christmas Bells. Sandersonia flowers appear in later spring and continue to bloom until mid summer. These lovely flowers can be used as nice cut flowers that last for about two weeks or more. The plant itself grows up to 1 meter and usually has climbing habit. The lance-shaped leaves have traditionally been used by Zulu people as an aphrodisiac. Leaves grow on along a thin stem or rootstock that produces new growth in spring.

Sandersonia aurantiaca is easy to grow from seeds, tubers or divisions of rootstock. When grown from seeds, make sure that they are properly stratified. The plant prefers moist but well-drained conditions to grow. Overwatering or excessive humidity causes the rootstock to rot. Sandersonia aurantiaca flourishes well when it is provided with moderate water, bright sunlight and protection from frosty winter.