of the Woods, Flame Lily, Climbing Lily, Glory Lily
Gloriosa Lilies are a
climbing member of the Lily family, which are natives of
South Africa. These tubers are also a vine that climbs
by means of tendrils at the tips of their leaves. Some
common names include Gloriosa Lily, Flame of the Woods,
Flame Lily, Climbing Lily and Glory Lily. All parts of
plant including rootstock, are highly toxic if ingested;
handling tubers may irritate the skin.
-- All parts the Gloriosa
Lily contain a chemical called colchicine. This chemical
is used by plant breeders to double up the chromosomes
in a plantís DNA, thus it is used in hybridizing
plants. Colchicine is a serious health problem if any
part of the plant is swallowed, especially the tubers.
Initial poisoning symptoms of colchicine develop in 2 to
6 hours. Contact your physician or poison control center
immediately is Gloriosa Lily poisoning is suspected. --
The unusual and exotic
flowers of the Gloriosa Lily have been featured on a US
postage stamp and are the national flower of Zimbabwe,
Africa. Gloriosa makes an outstanding cut flower in
arrangements, and the configuration of its stamens and
pistil has been compared to a clock and a minute hand.
Flowers, U.S. Postage Stamps, issued May 1, 1999
Blooming in mid-summer,
these strange and exotic looking lily-like flowers are 4
to 5 inches across with wavy-edged petals that are
reflexed back as if blown by a strong wind. In bud, the
petals face downward, but they open up to a backward
These wavy, swept-back
petals are crimson red, with a yellow base and edged in
bright yellow making the blossoms look like they're on
fire. The green stamens are extremely prominent and
spread outward, and the pistil points to the side of the
They produce weak,
trailing stems clothed with glossy, lush green, whorled
leaves which are tipped at the ends with tendrils to aid
in climbing. The fast growing vines can climb up to 8
feet on a fence or trellis in warm weather, bloom, then
Lily. Click to enlarge.
Click to enlarge.
Lily, Flame of the Woods, Flame Lily, Climbing Lily,
Tuberous climbing lily-vine
Native to Tropical Africa and India
8 (in sheltered areas) - 11
Rate of Growth: Fast
Salt Tolerance: Low
soil. Needs good drainage; cannot
Water well when actively growing, no water
when tubers are dormant
Nutritional Requirements: Balanced
liquid fertilizer monthly, side dressings of composted manure
Light Requirements: Full
to partial sun
Climbing perennial vine
Ovate-lance-shaped to oblong glossy bright green
leaves, 2 to 3" long which narrow to form terminal
tendrils, 1-1/4 to 2" long.
to Autumn, nodding flowers, 2 to 4" across, are
borne from upper leaf axis. Flowers have 6 reflexed,
wavy-margined, red tepals, often yellow margined, with
long, protruding stamens.
Pests or diseases:
viruses, bulb rot.
The vine is
weak and sparse standing alone, so is best combined with
another vine on a trellis, a shrub, or a fence.
Bad Habits: All
parts of plant are Highly Poisonous.
Cost: $$ --
Offsets and division of tubers.
Encyclopedia of Garden Plants