Sandersonia aurantiaca (Christmas Bells)

Scientific Name

Sandersonia aurantiaca Hook.

Common Names

Chinese Lantern Lily, Christmas Bells, Golden Lily of the Valley

Scientific Classification

Family: Colchicaceae
Genus: Sandersonia


Color: Orange
Bloom Time: Late spring and summer


Sandersonia aurantiaca is a slender-stemmed perennial plant and a climber that can reach up to 30 inches (76 cm) in height. Leaves are lance-shaped and medium green in color. Flowers are bell-shaped and bright orange and appear in late spring and summer.

Sandersonia aurantiaca - Christmas Bells


USDA hardiness zone 9a to 10b: from 20 °F (−6.7 °C) to 40 °F (+4.4 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Sandersonia loves a sunny spot with well-drained loamy soil enriched with a complete fertilizer. They only require water during the growing period until the flowers have finished. We then find it to be more drought tolerant than we expected. However, they do not like to be too wet over winter.

The tuber has two fleshy prongs emerging from the central 'bulb.' These prongs should be planted down and covered with 2 inches (5 cm) of topsoil with about 3.1 inches (8 cm) between each tuber. When shoots emerge, they need to be protected from snails and slugs as they find the most desirable. They will do well in a pot or container so long as there is good drainage.

They increase by making a new tuber each from the growing prong and often a small 'nut' on the other prong. They can also be grown from seed which is usually ready to harvest about the end of April. Seed should be planted early winter, sown thinly in trays or pots using a very well-drained potting medium, and covered with 0.4 inches (1 cm) of the mixture. See more at How to Grow and Care for Sandersonia.


Native to South Africa.


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