Delicate, weeping and grass-like, Chlorophytum saundersiae, can be used to create a soft, meadow like feel in almost any size garden. Despite its appearance, is not a grass, and produces masses of small, white starry flowers through the summer months. It also grows happily in sun or in partial shade beneath trees.

Chlorophytum saundersiae is a weeping, grass-like groundcover can be used to create a soft, meadow like feel in almost any garden.
Family:                                 ANTHIRICACEAE         (Asparagus Family)

Name Derivation:

  • Chlorophytum – ‘chloros’ means green and ‘phyton’ plant, so ‘green plant’; not a very imaginative name.
  • saundersiae – after Katherine Saunders (1824 – 1901), an energetic botanical artist and collector who lived and painted in KZN from 1854.

Common Names:

  • Weeping anthericum (Eng).
Chlorophytum saundersiae, the Weeping Anthiricum, has tall, up to about 70cm, flower spikes with graceful small white flowers with showy yellow stamens.
Form:         Forms clumps with long, weeping, grass-like leaves.

Size:            70 cm by 30 cm.


  • Small, white star-shaped flowers with yellow stamens, up to 2 cm wide.
  • Borne on single or branched, long (70 cm), weeping inflorescences.

Colour:                              White.

Fragrant:                          Not fragrant.

Flowering Months:       Sep – Apr.


  • Evergreen, may frost back in cold weather.
  • The simple leaves long (50 cm) and narrow (1 cm), tapering to a pointed tip.
Thorns:                           No thorns.

Fruit:                               The fruit is a small, ovoid capsule (1 cm).

In the Garden:

  • This plant is a popular and useful groundcover for shady or sunny areas.
  • Planted in mass to create a soft, meadow feel.
  • Well suited as a border plant or to add atmosphere to a water feature or pond.
  • Well suited to containers and planters, where their weeping habit is effective.
  • A very good companion plant for Crocosmia, as they remain green after the Crocosmia leaves die back in winter.

Planting spacing:    5 per square metre, plant plugs 20 cm apart.

 Soil Needs:                 Most soil types given plenty compost.


  • A low maintenance garden plant.
  • May need to be cut right back after winter if looking untidy.
  • Be aware that this plant seeds its self freely.
The long, weeping leaves of Chlorophytum saundersiae give the plant a grass-like appearance.

When planted in mass, Chlorophytum saundersiae can create a soft, meadow-like impression.

Chlorphytum saundersiae can be used effectively as a border to paving.
Cold Hardiness:                Semi-tender.

Water Requirements:    Needs regular water in the summer months.

Light Requirements:     Partial shade to full sun.

 Roots:                                   Not invasive.


  • Insectivorous birds will forage among the plants.
Insects and Butterflies:

  • Not a larval host to any butterflies.
  • Flowers pollinated by Carpenter Bees.

Medicinal:                          No medicinal use found.

Poisonous:                         Not poisonous.

Notes of interest:            This plant was previously called Anthericum saundersiae.

Natural Distribution:

  • Found in the north eastern EC and KZN.
  • Endemic to southern Africa (?).

Natural Habitat:            Coastal forests and grasslands

Chlorophytum saundersiae flowers are pollinated by Carpenter Bees.

© Malcolm Dee Hepplewhite & Witkoppen Wildflower Nursery, (Text and Photographs) 2012 & 2018.