Plant Guide

Wachendorfia thyrsiflora

red root, blood root

Evergreen rhizomatous perennial, endemic to South Africa, flowering during spring with golden yellow flower spikes up to 2 m tall. Sword-shaped, pleated, mid-green leaves 0.2-1 m long and up to 7 cm wide. Bright red roots.

Prefers a sunny position and plenty of moisture. Ideally suited to swamps and wetlands, but adapts well to average garden conditions. During dry summers the leaves may die down unless watered regularly. Generally pest and disease free. Suitable for coastal gardens. Light frosts only (USDA zone 10), but in a sheltered spot the plant can survive an occasional moderate frost.

Wachendorfia thyrsiflora is the perfect choice for a watergarden or the edge of a pond, but also looks magnificent as a backdrop for herbaceous or mixed borders. 

Type of plant

Herbaceous - Perennial


0.5-1.0 m wide, flower spikes to 2 m tall

Landscape Use

flower display, coastal gardens, wetlands, swamps, waterside positions


  • Temperature: Frost tender
  • Light: Medium High
  • Moisture: Medium High
  • Soil: Medium Heavy
  • Wind tolerance: Average
  • Coastal tolerance: High