Flame Lily

Gloriosa superba

Climbing-Lily, Creeping-Lily, Glory-Lily, Turk's Cap, Superb Lily, Gloriosa Lily

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Gloriosa superba is a spectacular tuberous plant from the Colchicaceae family. It forms beautiful wavy-edged, yellow, orange and red flowers that resemble a burning flame. The leaves are interesting, forming tendrils at the tip of every leaf which are used for climbing. This plant is extremely poisonous and needs to be handled​ with care.
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Planning

Difficulty

Moderate

Flowering time

Summer

Fruiting time

Summer

Harvesting

Harvest seeds in autumn and keep warm and dry until spring.

Propagation

Seed

The easiest way to propagate this plant is by seed. Sow seeds in spring at a depth of 1 cm and space them 10 cm apart. Germination can take place anywhere between 2 weeks and 3 months from sowing.

Division

Divide tubers just before new growth emerges in spring. Only divide large clumps and remove offsets to place them at a depth of 10 cm and space them 10 cm apart.

Special features

Attracts useful insects

Attracts large butterflies and ants.

Attracts birds

Sunbirds are attracted by the nectar produced by the flowers.

Drought resistant

This species is water-wise and require very little amounts of water.

Pot plant

Great pot plant, as it is compact and perfect for medium to large sized pots.

Indoor plant

Can be grown indoors in a pot where filtered light is present.

Attractive flowers

Flowers are borne on long pedicels. They have 6 wavy-edged petals that are bent backwards so that they are pointing upwards, and may be yellow, orange, scarlet, purple or bi-coloured.

Special features

Origin

Central east Africa and Asia to South Africa's Eastern Cape Province

Natural climate

Temperate

Environment

Light

Full Sun, Full Shade, Partial Shade, Partial Sun

Soil moisture

Dry

Soil type

Loam, Sand

Soil PH preference

Acid, Neutral

Frost hardiness

Tender

Uses

Medicinal

The main poisonous compound found in this plant is the active ingredient in de-worming medication.

Personality

Family

Colchicaceae

Flower colour

Red, Yellow, Orange

Scent

Mild

Problems

It may be susceptible to fungal attack and therefore requires a sandy soil with adequate drainage.

Credits

profile iconGloriosa superba
by Alice Notten, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, June 2015. Thompson T Mutshinyalo, Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden, 29 January 2001 (Copyright South African National Biodiversity Institute, South Africa)
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Knowledge and advice

Search our ever-growing knowledge base to find plants and information. Find out about pests and diseases you should be keeping an eye out for. Watch How to videos or follow step by step guides for tasks in the garden. Free download for your phone or tablet.
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