The Flash

by Barbara-

Bet you’ve never seen a Chlorophytum like this. I purchased this plant because after weeks of seeing it in the store, its coral/orange-coloured midribs and petioles against the dark green leaves grew on me. 

Chlorophytum amaniense also known as Fire flash, Tangerine, Mandarin plant or Sierra Leone Lily originates from the rainforests in Tanzania. It is also identified as C. orchiddantheroides, C. orchidastrum). Like the spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum), Fire flash is a member of the family Liliaceae. It originates from the rainforests in Tanzania.

fireflash 2
By JuanitaV (Juanita Visser) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
You would think due to its bright orange colour, this plant would require some direct sun. Quite to the contrary, Fire flash is the perfect indoor plant because it actually prefers partial shade to full shade. This means it will do well in some low light or indirect bright light. I keep it several feet away from a south-facing window. Too much bright light will cause leaf chlorosis, that is, the leaves become pale or yellow due to insufficient chlorophyll formation. Too much light can also cause scorching of the leaves.


My plant is quite small (as shown above), but can grow quite big with proper care. I don’t think this is a fussy plant as long as you give it everything it requires which is not much.

fireflash 3

The plant prefers moist soil at all times but please do not water-log it. Like the spider plant, it would appreciate water- free from fluoride (as this promotes leaf necrosis). If you have access to soft water or rain water it would greatly appreciate it. Tepid water is also recommended.  If you let this plant dry out  for too long, the leaves will form a cupped shape. If you choose to fertilize, make sure the leaves do not come in contact with the fertilizer as they are extremely sensitive to chemicals. This means they will also be likely sensitive to insecticides or other commercial products for pest control, thus its best to test one or two leaves beforehand. I am not sure what pests would attack this plant, but spider mites and mealy bugs at the bases would be my guess. I haven’t had any pests on my spider plant so it is quite hard to tell.

fireflash 4

Unlike the spider plant, it does not propagate by runners. It can be propagated though by division. You can do this by simply separating the shoots that appear at the base of the mother plant with roots attached. You can also propagate by seeds that are formed from the inflorescence as shown below. You simply have to places the seeds on the soil. Fresh seeds have been found to germinate within 3 weeks. You can store seeds up to a year, however these stored seeds were found to germinate within 14 days in a greenhouse with all the right parameters. Remove the dried inflorescence as it spoils the appeal of the plant somewhat. If you are not interested in propagation by seeds, remove the inflorescence the moment it appears as it will compete with the foliage for nutrients and result in poor foliage development.

fire flash 1
Photo by Maja Dumat – CC BY 2.0

This is definitely a specimen plant, and will add colour to low light areas in your home. Any of you have this plant? Share pictures or stories of your plant below.sign-off1-300x46


Chen, J., McConnell, D.B., Henny, R.J., Everitt, K., and Caldwell, R.D. (2005) Fire Flash: An exotic tropical ornamental foliage plant. HortTechnology 15:686-689.


Hi, I’m Barbara and I’m a little obsessed with house plants. I share my house plant adventures in the hopes of inspiring you to continue to enjoy the greens in your home. And if you have no plants (yet!) I hope this blog inspires you to add some green to your home. So go on! Try it! I think you might quite like it. And who knows? You may end up being … obsessed too.


  1. Gibbs

    Now I know why some leaves of our Fire Flash got burned.. as I placed it in an area with so much bright light. Thanks to this.. very useful! And yes, Fire Flash is such a stand out among the houseplants!

    07 . Nov . 2020
  2. Rebecca

    I just started getting into houseplants again and these are now my favorite! I have two with a third on the way.
    Do you know is it normal for the new sprouts to be pale green/yellow? The full grown leaves are healthy and green but the new sprouts are pale….I can not find the answer.

    22 . Jul . 2020
    • Barbara

      Hi Rebecca, I gave mine away so unsure. however some plant’s young leaves come out pale and then turn into a deeper green one the leaf is mature. If the new leaf does not get darker it might be either over exposed or under exposed to bright light. Keep an eye on it and let me know what happens.

      08 . Jan . 2021
  3. Lisa Kirk

    Hi Barbara:
    I just bought my first fireflash and I am so excited!

    16 . May . 2020

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