Posted by: Kate | November 3, 2010

The Pink Flower of Fall

When all the chrysanthemums are done, when the purple asters are drooping and the crimson leaves are falling from the japanese maple, one plant in my garden stands tall. It has a special place in my heart for bringing colour into the wet, dark days of late fall here on the coast. It also has some heritage, being a South African import like my mum. Seeing its pink flowers atop green, sword-like leaves makes me smile every time I pull into my driveway.

This is Schizostylis coccinea, commonly known as Crimson Flag, or sometimes the Cape Bulb. It comes in shades from red to pink, and likes wet soil, cool temperatures and generally damp conditions to flower. Perfect for the west coast! It can be dry all summer, and doesn’t look like much other than some clumps of low grass during the hot season. It starts to grow more quickly as the cooler evenings come in the late summer, and by October it is full size. This plant above started as a very small clump from my mum’s garden five years ago, and as you can see it has grown nicely. The plant divides easily.

My plant has just started blooming in the past 10 days, and as you can see there are many more flowers to come. It generally blooms through to January before all the flowers are finished. It will survive the odd snow fall, and quite cold temperatures, although I don’t know how it does on the prairies (likely not wet enough for it there).

A perfect spot of colour!


  1. Kate, I’d love some of this if you’re dividing!

  2. These are lovely! A perfect plant for the Fall/Winter when everything else has gone to bed.

  3. Sorry Kate! That last post was from MEEEEE, but I had forgotten to log out of another Blog. Whoops! Ros

    • Oh, looks like the incorrect post didn’t show up after all! It was supposed to say………. what pretty little flowers. Just perfect for these Autumn days. :)Ros

  4. How pretty!

  5. I’ve never heard of those but something so pretty flowering through late fall and early winter is pretty special. I’ll have to bookmark this and try to find some next year…maybe we have the conditions that it would thrive as well!

  6. what beautiful blooms!
    and how wonderful that it brings you a burst of color when all else is done for the year.

    and i’m sorry but i’ve lost track of time – was your playground building last weekend or this weekend?
    i hope it went/goes well!!

  7. What a beautiful plant! I was thinking I might like to get one until I read the part about wet soil and cool temperatures. Not quite what Kamloops has to offer in the way of climate I am afraid!

  8. Blooms all winter and likes the wet?!?! I am going to look for this at the nursery.

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