Family: Haemodoraceae

Native to South Africa, this genus includes over 20 species of tuberous, perennial plants that are grown for their brightly coloured flowers.


W. hirsuta, to 45 cm (18 in), has hairy leaves and red buds, opening to yellow flowers.

W. paniculata grows to 45 cm (18 in), with spikes of yellow, funnel-shaped, summer flow­ers, which become red with maturity.

W. thyr­siflora, red root, is an attractive plant, growing to over 1 m (3 ft) high. Bright, golden yellow flowers are borne in upright spikes, in early summer. This species forms large clumps and tends to self-seed. The red sap in the tubers was used as a dye in Africa.


Where frosts occur, grow these tender plants in a cool conservatory or green-house. Ideally, plant in a soil bed. Alternatively grow in pots of sandy, soil-based potting com­post, with some leaf mould added. Ensure max­imum light. Water freely when in full growth, but keep the compost only slightly moist when plants are dormant. In the garden, plant in moist soil, in a sunny spot. Propagate in spring, either from seed or by dividing clumps.


Zone 10.