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Watsonia 'Stanford Scarlet'


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Key information

Plant type

Summer/autumn blooming bulb

Flower colour






Skill level


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Plant details

An unusual but very striking South African flower, this has clumps of upright, sword-like leaves and tall stems of scarlet flowers similar to those of crocosmia, in early to mid-summer. These are best planted in groups to make a bigger display, and they team well with purple foliage such as bronze fennel, and other bright hot-coloured flowers. Plants are not hardy in most of the country and may be lifted when dormant, in the same way as gladioli, for storing in a paper bag indoors for the winter. Alternatively, mulch dormant plants in mild gardens for protection.

Family: Iridaceae

Genus: Watsonia

Cultivar: Stanford Scarlet

Plant type: Summer/autumn blooming bulb

Flower colour: Red

Feature: Flowers

Sun exposure: Full sun

Soil: Well-drained/light

Hardiness: Tender

Skill level: Experienced

Height: 120cm

Spread: 15cm

Time to plant seeds: September to November

Time to divide plants: March to May

Flowering period: June to July

Reader reviews


as an inexperianced gardener, if i plant somethig and it works, good and if it doesn't i try something else. the plant mentioned above grows anywhere and is really easy to keep, i've got mine temp. in a pot while i find a place for it because it spreads, mine has come back strong this year, even after all the snow this winter!


I managed to grow two plants from seed. They are now about 5 years old, but have not produced flowers yet maybe because they have been in pots. I have planted out one this year so wait to see what will happen.


UPDATE - the planted out Watsonia produced 10 flower spikes, lovely orangey flowers with electric blue stamens.

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