Crimson Flag Lily Hesperantha coccinea 'Fenland Daybreak'

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
crimson flag lily 'Fenland Daybreak'


Known as the Crimson Flag or River Lily, 'Fenland Daybreak' is a captivating flowering plant with a visually striking appearance. It boasts a vibrant color palette, primarily showcasing flowers that are deep scarlet or sometimes a softer pink hue. The flowers are star-shaped, drawing the eye with a harmonious symmetry and an alluring charm. Each bloom consists of six evenly spaced petals that stretch outward from a central point, creating an inviting and open display. The petals have a delicate texture, often adorned with fine, subtle streaks or gradients that add depth and character to the overall look of the flower. These blooms are carried atop sturdy stems which emerge from a clump of grass-like foliage. The leaves are slender, elongated and arch slightly, providing an elegant green backdrop that contrasts beautifully with the fiery reds and pinks of the flowers. The Crimson Flag blooms with a certain generosity, producing an abundance of flowers that form an eye-catching cluster. This spectacle of color usually occurs during the late summer to fall period, bringing life to gardens as the seasons change. While not discussing its size in terms of measurements, it's worth noting that 'Fenland Daybreak' is of a size that can easily integrate into a variety of garden settings, from borders to pots, without overwhelming the space. It's a plant that draws the attention not by its stature but by the rich, vivid colors it adds to the landscape.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Crimson Flag Lily, River Lily, Schizostylis, Kaffir Lily.

    • Common names

      Schizostylis coccinea 'Fenland Daybreak', Hesperantha coccinea 'Fenland Daybreak'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The plant with the common name crimson flag lily, which includes the variety 'Fenland Daybreak', is not widely known for its toxicity to humans. However, as with many plants, it could cause some individuals to have an allergic reaction if ingested or if the sap comes into contact with skin. It is always wise to exercise caution and keep plants out of the reach of children who may inadvertently ingest plant parts. There is no significant evidence to suggest that the crimson flag lily has severe toxic properties that would lead to symptoms of poisoning in humans.

    • To pets

      The crimson flag lily, encompassing the 'Fenland Daybreak' variety, is not commonly known to be toxic to pets. While it does not appear on lists of plants that are hazardous to pets, such as cats and dogs, caution is still advised. Individual animals may have different sensitivities, and ingestion of non-food items can sometimes lead to gastrointestinal upset or other issues. If a pet ingests any part of this plant and shows any signs of distress, it is best to consult a veterinarian. However, typically, no severe toxicity symptoms specific to crimson flag lily ingestion in pets are expected.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      2 feet (60 cm)

    • Spread

      1 foot (30 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      South Africa


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Aesthetic Appeal: Adds vibrant color to gardens with its bright flowers.
    • Attracts Pollinators: Draws in bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, which are beneficial for plant pollination.
    • Seasonal Interest: Provides late summer to autumn interest when many other plants have finished blooming.
    • Low Maintenance: Requires minimal care once established, making it ideal for busy gardeners.
    • Drought Tolerance: Can survive periods of low water, making it suitable for xeriscaping or drought-prone areas.
    • Cut Flowers: The blooms are long-lasting in vases, adding beauty to indoor settings.
    • Versatility: Can be used in borders, beds, and containers, offering flexibility in garden design.
    • Hardiness: Resilient in the face of frosts and cold weather, extending its growing season.
    • Propagates Easily: Can be propagated from division, allowing gardeners to spread the plant around their garden.
    • Deer Resistant: Less likely to be eaten by deer, which can be a problem in some gardens.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Hesperantha coccinea 'Fenland Daybreak', commonly known as Crimson Flag, can be used as a natural dye for fabrics, providing a range of colors from soft peach to vibrant reds depending on the mordant used.
    • The petals of the Crimson Flag can be pressed or dried to create organic confetti for weddings and other celebrations, offering an eco-friendly alternative to synthetic materials.
    • The plant's distinctive shape and color make it a valuable resource for botanical illustrators and artists, who can use it as a subject for drawing, painting, or photography.
    • Crimson Flag's strong, straight stems can be included in natural craft projects, such as creating garden-inspired wreaths or as stakes for supporting other plants.
    • The leaves of the Crimson Flag can be used as a subtle green filler in homemade potpourri mixes, providing a base for other more fragrant botanicals.
    • During the festive season, the bright flowers of the Crimson Flag can be used to create a unique, natural Christmas tree ornamentation, when dried and attached to branches.
    • Beekeepers might plant Crimson Flag in their gardens, as it is a good nectar source for bees during its blooming season, contributing to the health of the hive.
    • As part of sensory garden designs, the Crimson Flag's vivid flowers can be included to provide both visual appeal and tactile experiences for visitors.
    • The Crimson Flag can serve as an educational tool in schools or nature programs, helping to teach children about plant biology, pollination, and the importance of biodiversity.
    • Garden enthusiasts may use the Crimson Flag in garden photography competitions, leveraging its striking color and form to capture compelling images.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The River Lily is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The River Lily is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Enduring Love: The Hesperantha coccinea 'Fenland Daybreak', commonly known as 'Crimson Flag', often symbolizes a love that withstands the test of time, much like its resilient blooms persisting from summer through fall.
    • Resilience: The plant's ability to thrive in various conditions reflects the human quality of resilience and adaptability to change.
    • Beauty: With its striking crimson petals, the 'Crimson Flag' represents beauty and elegance, making it a popular choice in gardens for aesthetic appeal.
    • Hope: As the flower blooms with the dawn, it can symbolize hope and new beginnings, reminiscent of the fresh start each day brings.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Late summer to fall
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The common name for Hesperantha coccinea 'Fenland Daybreak' is Crimson Flag, which prefers consistent moisture, especially during its growing season. It should be watered deeply about once a week, but the frequency may need to increase during hot, dry periods to maintain moist soil. Provide the plant with about 1-2 gallons of water per watering session, ensuring it is soaked thoroughly but not waterlogged. During the winter months, when the plant is dormant, reduce watering significantly, but do not allow the soil to completely dry out.

  • sunLight

    Crimson Flag thrives best in full sun to partial shade conditions. The ideal spot for this plant is one where it can receive at least 4-6 hours of sunlight daily, with some protection from the intense midday sun. A location that offers morning sunlight and afternoon shade can be optimal, especially in hotter climates, to prevent the foliage from scorching.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Crimson Flag can tolerate a range of temperatures but grows best between 60-75 degrees Fahrenheit. It is winter hardy and can survive minimum temperatures down to about 20 degrees Fahrenheit, but it should be protected from frost. During the warmer months, ensure the plant is not exposed to prolonged temperatures exceeding 85 degrees Fahrenheit, as this can stress the plant.

  • scissorsPruning

    Prune the Crimson Flag plant to remove spent flower stems and to maintain a tidy appearance. Pruning is also done to encourage new growth and a more vigorous display of flowers. The best time for pruning is immediately after the plant has finished flowering, typically in late fall or early winter. It's recommended to prune the plants no more than once a year to prevent stress.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The River Lily thrives in a rich, well-draining soil mix composed of loam, compost, and sand with a slightly acidic to neutral pH of 6.0 to 7.0, ensuring healthy growth and flowering.

  • plantRepotting

    River Lilies should be repotted every 2-3 years, or when the plant becomes root-bound, to refresh the soil and allow for continued growth.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    River Lilies prefer moderate humidity levels, however, they can tolerate a range of humidity conditions as long as they aren't in an extremely dry environment.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in bright, indirect light with good airflow.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in partial shade, protect from intense afternoon sun.

    • Hardiness zone

      7-10 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Hesperantha coccinea 'Fenland Daybreak', also known as Crimson Flag or River Lily, starts its life cycle as a seed, which upon finding suitable moist and well-drained soil, will germinate typically in spring. The germinated seed develops into a seedling with narrow, lance-shaped leaves. As the seedling matures into a vegetative plant, it forms a clump of grass-like foliage and begins to establish a root system. During the flowering stage, which occurs in late summer to fall, the plant produces star-shaped, crimson or pink flowers that open in the evening and close in the morning, hence the name 'Fenland Daybreak'. After pollination, typically by insects, the plant sets seeds that are dispersed by various means, including water and animals, to continue the cycle. In colder climates, Hesperantha coccinea dies back to the ground after flowering and enters a period of dormancy during winter, only to re-emerge in spring to repeat the cycle.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Late summer to fall

    • The most popular method of propagating the Hesperantha coccinea 'Fenland Daybreak', commonly known as the Crimson Flag or River Lily, is by division. The best time to propagate this plant is in spring, after the danger of frost has passed and when new growth is visible. To do this, carefully lift the clump from the ground using a garden fork, ensuring minimal damage to the roots. Gently tease apart the individual rhizomes, making sure that each division has at least one growth point. Replant the divisions immediately at the same depth they were growing before, spacing them about 12 inches (approximately 30 centimeters) apart to give them room to grow. Water the newly planted divisions well to help establish them. This method of propagation is simple and effective, allowing gardeners to create more plants for their gardens or to share with others.