Crimson Flag Lily Hesperantha coccinea 'Mrs Hegarty'

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


The 'Mrs Hegarty' variety of the river lily is a captivating perennial that boasts a distinctive appearance. Its primary features include an array of striking star-shaped flowers that present a soft pink hue with subtle touches of salmon. Each flower consists of elongated petals that tend to curve gracefully, contributing to their star-like form. These alluring blossoms are borne on slender stems that emerge above the plant's foliage. The foliage itself consists of sword-shaped leaves, forming a lush and compact base for the stems and flowers. The leaves display a rich green color that provides a luscious backdrop to the delicate pink flowers. The striking contrast between the green foliage and pink blooms makes this river lily a charming addition to gardens, particularly when in full bloom. Noted for its elegance and beauty, the 'Mrs Hegarty' river lily is often sought after for its ornamental flowers that can provide a pop of color to garden borders, beds, or container displays. This plant blooms profusely, generally during the late summer to fall months, and when in flower, it can become a focal point in the garden due to its beautiful blossoms and lush foliage.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Crimson Flag Lily, River Lily, Cape Lily, Kaffir Lily.

    • Common names

      Schizostylis coccinea 'Mrs. Hegarty', Schizostylis coccinea var. Mrs. Hegarty.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Information specific to the toxicity of Hesperantha coccinea, commonly known as the river lily, to humans is limited. Generally, this plant is not noted for being toxic to humans. However, as with any plant, different individuals can have different sensitivities or allergic reactions. It is always wise to handle plants with care and avoid ingesting plant parts unless they are known to be safe.

    • To pets

      The river lily (Hesperantha coccinea) is not commonly listed as a toxic plant to pets. However, since individual pets may react differently to various plants, it is recommended to prevent pets from ingesting plants not intended for consumption. If your pet does ingest part of a river lily and you observe unusual symptoms, it is advisable to consult a veterinarian. Symptoms can vary widely based on the type of plant ingested and the specific reaction of the animal, so there is no definitive list of symptoms for a non-toxic plant such as this one.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      1-2 feet (30-60 cm)

    • Spread

      1-2 feet (30-60 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      South Africa


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Aesthetic Appeal: Adds vibrant color with its striking pinkish-white flowers, enhancing the visual appeal of gardens.
    • Attracts Pollinators: It draws in bees, butterflies, and birds, which are vital for pollination and maintaining a healthy ecosystem.
    • Easy to Grow: Known for being low-maintenance and easy to care for, it is suitable for novice gardeners.
    • Seasonal Interest: Blooms in late summer to autumn, providing color and interest when many other plants are fading.
    • Drought Tolerance: Once established, it has a level of drought resistance, making it suitable for xeriscaping.
    • Compact Size: Due to its small to medium size, it is ideal for borders, pots, and small gardens where space is limited.
    • Cut Flowers: The blooms make excellent cut flowers for arrangements thanks to their longevity and vibrant color.

  • 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

    • The crushed leaves of Hesperantha coccinea, also known as crimson flag lily, can be used as a natural dye for fabrics, imparting a mild greenish hue when applied.
    • The long, sturdy stems of the plant can be used in weaving or basketry as decorative elements or as structural supports for smaller items.
    • Crimson flag lily can be used in floral art and photography due to its vibrant color and unique shape, perfect for creating striking compositions.
    • The dried seed pods can be integrated into potpourri or dried flower arrangements, contributing to the texture and visual interest of the display.
    • Pressed and dried crimson flag lily flowers are often used in scrapbooking or card making, adding a botanical element to the paper crafts.
    • The flowers can serve as a natural indicator of soil pH, as some flowers can change colors slightly when the soil conditions alter.
    • In frost-free areas, gardeners can utilize the leaves as a green mulch, as they decompose slowly and add nutrients back to the soil.
    • The crimson flag lily's nectar-rich blooms can be a food source for a classroom insect study, attracting and sustaining a variety of insects for observation.
    • Artists can use the distinct silhouettes of crimson flag lily flowers for stencil creation, cutting out their shapes and using them in different forms of artwork.
    • As part of sensory gardens, the texture and color of crimson flag lily can be used to stimulate the senses and contribute to a therapeutic environment.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The plant Hesperantha coccinea, commonly known as the crimson flag lily, is not traditionally used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The crimson flag lily is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Endurance: As a hardy perennial that can withstand challenging conditions and bloom in the late summer or fall, the River Lily often symbolizes endurance and the ability to persevere through difficulties.
    • Beauty: With its strikingly beautiful flowers, the River Lily is associated with beauty and the appreciation of it. Mrs Hegarty, with specifically pink-red blooms, enhances this symbolism with a touch of warmth and passion.
    • Rebirth: As the River Lily dies back in winter only to return in the warmer months, it can symbolize rebirth, renewal, and the cycle of life.

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

    The Crimson Flag Lily prefers consistent moisture, especially during its blooming period in the fall. Water the plant deeply once a week, providing about 1 inch of water which equates to approximately 0.6 gallons per square yard of soil. Ensure the water penetrates the soil to reach the roots but avoid waterlogging. During periods of extreme heat or drought, the watering frequency may need to increase to maintain soil moisture. Reduce watering in the winter when the plant is dormant.

  • sunLight

    Crimson Flag Lily thrives in full sun to partial shade. The ideal spot would receive ample morning sunlight with some shade during the hottest part of the afternoon. These conditions will promote robust growth and vibrant blossoms. Too much shade may result in fewer flowers and leggy growth.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The Crimson Flag Lily does well in a wide range of temperatures but prefers a climate with daytime temperatures between 65°F and 75°F. It can tolerate temperatures down to about 10°F but may require protection in the form of mulch or a frost cloth. The plant is hardy to USDA Zone 6 and should be planted in a location protected from harsh winter winds.

  • scissorsPruning

    The Crimson Flag Lily should be pruned to remove spent flowers and encourage reblooming. Prune in late summer or early fall after flowering has finished by cutting back the flower stems to the base of the plant. This maintains the plant's appearance and vigor. It's also a good time to remove any yellow or brown leaves to promote healthy growth.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The best soil mix for Hesperantha coccinea 'Mrs Hegarty', commonly known as Schizostylis or Crimson flag lily, is a moist, well-draining soil with a rich organic content. A balanced mix of two parts garden soil, one part sand, and one part compost or peat moss is ideal. The soil pH should be slightly acidic to neutral, ranging between 6.5 and 7.0 for optimal growth.

  • plantRepotting

    Crimson flag lilies should be repotted every 2-3 years to refresh the soil and divide the clumps if necessary. The best time for repotting is in the spring after the danger of frost has passed. This schedule helps maintain the health and vigor of the plant.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Crimson flag lilies thrive in average to high humidity conditions; however, they can tolerate a range of humidity levels as long as they have adequate soil moisture. Aiming for a humidity level between 40-60% is generally beneficial for these plants.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in bright, filtered light with moist soil.

    • Outdoor

      Full sun to part shade, moist fertile soil, protect in winter.

    • Hardiness zone

      7-10 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Hesperantha coccinea 'Mrs Hegarty', commonly known as Crimson Flag or River Lily, starts its life as a seed, which when sown in fertile, well-drained soil and under appropriate moisture and temperature conditions, will germinate and sprout. The seedling emerges, developing roots and shoots as it enters the vegetative stage, forming grass-like leaves. As the plant matures, it forms a clumping growth habit and eventually produces flower stalks with buds during the flowering stage, typically in late summer to autumn. The flowers are a distinctive pale pink, opening from the bottom of the spike upwards. After pollination, typically by insects, the flowers set seed, which can be dispersed by wind or water. In cooler climates, Hesperantha coccinea 'Mrs Hegarty' may die back to the ground in winter, entering a period of dormancy before resuming growth in the spring.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Late Summer

    • For the River Lily, the most popular method of propagation is by dividing its corms or rhizomes. This process is best done in late spring or early summer when the plant is not in active growth. Begin by carefully digging up the clump of River Lily, ensuring you keep as much of the root system intact as possible. Gently separate the corms or rhizomes at the natural divisions, making sure that each division has at least one growing point or eye. 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 and continue to provide regular moisture as they establish themselves in their new locations.