Clivia nobilis was the first species of Clivia to be discovered in South Africa. Its habitat is from the Eastern Cape, near Port Elizabeth to the Kwazulu-Natal border.
Clivia nobilis is characterized by strap-shaped leaves with a typical notch at the end. Flowers are pendant and colour ranges from cream to red. The tips of the flowers are green. Clivia nobilis has been used in breeding inter-specific hybrids and it is an important plant for the development of green flowers. Clivia nobilis is slow-growing and may take 6 – 8 years to reach the flowering stage. There are a few important clones of Clivia nobilis. One of the rarer varieties which is registered under the name “Pearl of the Cape” has light yellow flowers with green tips and is owned by Welland Cowley. This plant is believed to have come from a population in the Grahamstown disctrict.