Originally from South Africa, it is mostly a shade plant that is considered very adaptable to Spain given the similarities of the Mediterranean climate of the Iberian Peninsula with its place of origin.
The natal lily genus entered Europe mainly by the initiative of the British that in the early decades of the nineteenth century were in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. From there they sent some specimens to England, where they were planted in special gardens of acclimatization, greenhouses, very appropriate so that a plant or subtropical Mediterranean climate like the natal lily could adapt to the colder weather conditions of England. Thus, in the northern European countries such as the UK, the natal lily is used in interior decoration.
John Lindley, botanist of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, one of the first in the UK to use the greenhouse technology to grow exotic plants, named these flowering plants clivia in honor of a noble lady, Charlotte Florentine Clive, Duchess of Northumberland. Interestingly, the same day in October 1828 in which Lindley recorded the name of clivia, a fellow British scientist William Jackson Hooker presented a new genus based on the same plant. Regardless of who was the discoverer for the European nations, the natal lily became fashionable as an exotic plant in Victorian England and, and from there it spread to the rest of Europe.