Valentines Day Special

By BotSoc

Colour of Love. . .

It’s the month of Love, and what better way to celebrate it by sharing some beautiful red indigenous flowers. A good idea for this month of love is building your own ID guide and seeing how many red plants you can identify. These are a few to have a lookout for . . . some of them are harder to find than others.

1. The Red Disa (Disa uniflora)

This magnificent flower is one of South Africa’s most well- known flowers. It is the Western Province Rugby Club’s emblem. It forms part of South Africa’s fynbos group and part of the Orchidaceae family. It can be found near riverbanks, or along waterfalls on Table Mountain as well as other Mountainous areas within the Western Cape.

2. The New Year Lily (Gladiolus cardinalis)

Gladiolus cardinalis ©Tony Rebelo

It gets its name due to its bright red flower. It forms part of the Iridaceae family. It enjoys mostly sunny conditions. Similar to the Disa, the New Year lily, is most likely to be found in habitats where there are wet cliffs and waterfalls. This flower is definitely a beauty to look at.

3. Gladiolus insolens

This beautiful plant is named after the radiating light that its flowers give off. It is found in southern African within the winter-rainfall zone, specifically found in Piketberg in the Western Cape. This species is listed as vulnerable, therefore needs to be conserved in order for it to survive.

4. Channel-leaved haemanthus, paintbrush lily (Haemanthus canaliculatus)

Channel-leaved haemanthus, Paintbrush lily ©Ismail Ebrahim

This red flower forms part of the Amaryllidaceae family. It flowers in late summer or early autumn, and can be seen after a fire has occurred. It can be found in Betty’s Bay and Hangklip, Western Cape. The genus, Haemanthus, is derived from Greek which translates to blood flower and the species name, canaliculatus, means channels. This genus and species name descibes this plant perfectly.

5. Gerbera Daisy (Gerbera jamesonii)

This daisy is a popular plant that is a favourite to grow in gardens throughout the world. It is also used to create the Gerbera hybrid  that are found in bouquets and many florists. It flowers in spring until early summer, as well as autumn. Gerbera jamesonii can be found in grassland in sandy, well-drained soils in Gauteng, Mpumalanga, and Limpopo Provinces.

6. Fire Erica/ Fire Heath (Erica cerinthoides)


This forms part of South Africa’s famous fynbos family: Ericaceae. This plant has tubular like red flowers. Erica cerinthoides flowers at any time of the year due to fires that vitalize it. This Erica is widely distributed compared to other heaths within southern Africa. It grows in different habitats, such as mountain tops as well as coastal plains. It can be found from the Cedarberg Moutains in the Western Cape, all the way to the Eastern Cape, up to Natal Drakensberg and into Mpumalanga, Lesotho and Swaziland and it also stretches up north to Soutpansberg in the Northern Cape.

So there you have it, some inspirational red flowers to keep a look out for.

Have a splendid Valentine’s day everyone!




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The Botanical Society of South Africa (BotSoc) are an NGO conserving and educating about biodiversity for over 100 years.

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