Nine or so species of Scadoxus occur across southern Africa. The genus is related to Haemanthus. Although Victorian horticulture combined the two, they are very different.
Flowering is in summer when they make 20-30cm head and a red-spotted, 50-60cm stem, each 15-20cm head, made up of numerous scarlet flowers with vivid yellow anthers. Up to 8 wavy-edged, glossy leaves follow.
They like humus-rich, well-drained soils. Fibrous, open, leafmould mixed with some loam and coarse river sand. After transplanting do not move the bulb unnecessarily as flowering may be affected. Annual top dressing is better than transplanting. A larger pot (15-25cm) allows bulbs to develop their full size. They need shade, dappled shade in best though forest species like heavier shade. Avoid full sun to avoid leaf scorch.
Regular feeding with a balanced fertiliser is beneficial. Once the leaves start yellowing stop feeding and watering prior to their leafless, dry, winter dormancy. They must be dry in winter. Scadoxus are not frost-hardy, if they freeze, they die.
Like many Amaryllids, Scadoxus are highly poisonous. The bulbs, leaves flowers and seeds are potentially fatal if eaten.