The beautiful Impala Lily

Impala Lily

The Impala Lily (Adenium obesum) is a winter flowering beauty! For most of the year these plants, which sort of look like miniature baobabs, are dormant with no leaves or flowers. In winter that changes, and they are covered in their star-shaped flowers. The flowers are white and edged in pink or red and have red lines leading to the centre of the flower.

Avoid the poisonous latex

Visitors to Kruger Park should be familiar with the Impala Lily. Every rest camp seems to have numerous specimens in their gardens. It is interesting that the latex from the bark and trunk is poisonous, yet some species of antelope browse on these plants. Where protected from browsers the Impala Lily can grow into a large shrub.  They are, however, poisonous to cattle and goats.

The Impala Lily makes a great addition to your garden if you can offer it the right conditions. They are suitable for inclusion in a rockery but also do well in a container. You need to plant them in a well drained area with sandy soil. When planting one in a container you need to ensure that they have good drainage. Fill the bottom of the container with small rocks and fill it with a mix of sand, compost and soil. In summer they should be given a lot of water, but they shouldn’t be watered during winter. They are succulent plants so they can tolerate drought.

The Impala Lily cannot tolerate frost

Avoid exposing them to frost. If you have one in a container then move it to an area that is protected from frost. If you live in an area that regularly gets frost then perhaps you shouldn’t plant these in the garden. You could cover the during the coldest periods but that is when they are in flower.

Impala Lilies can be grown from seed or cuttings, but they can take up to 5 years to flower.

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