Blood lilies are one of the most fascinating of the lily species. The blood lily, also known by its scientific name of Scadoxus multiflorus, is an evergreen blooming perennial plant that originally hails from South Africa and has made its way around the world on the strength of its unique beauty. The name of the flower refers directly to its bright red flower color. Other common nicknames for the blood lily are the fireball lily, poison root and Catherine wheel. The blood lily has a very short bloom season of less than two weeks annually in mid to late summer depending on the growing climate. It will not produce leaves until after the plant's single blood red flower has bloomed and faded. For the rest of the year, the blood lily is simply an attractive evergreen shrub with deep green spherical leaves that some say resemble nothing so much as a series of spoons. It also produces berries later in the year.
Blood lilies prefer tropical climates, making them suitable for growing outdoors only in the hottest and most humid parts of the nation in Florida, Texas, and locations in the deep South. Most other climates will indicate that the blood lily should be grown indoors as a container plant, or taken indoors as soon as conditions turn from the hot tropical climate it prefers. The blood lily gets one of its nicknames, "poison root", from its known toxicity. In its native country of Africa, toxins from the plant are used to make poison arrows. If you are planting the blood lily in a location where pets or young children might be tempted to ingest any part of the plant, it is best to abstain from planting rather than take the risk. Otherwise, the blood lily is a lovely and unique plant that will make an interesting addition to any garden setting.