In a previous post I wrote about five stunning lilies that make a real statment in the garden. These included the Trumpet Lily, the Easter Lily from Japan, the Asiatic Lily and the Oriental Lily. Here is one more which is quite different from the rest. Gloriosa Superba, the flame lily also known as the glory lily is native to Zimbabwe and so of African origin. Discover more about this fabulous plant from Marie Harrison who is a real enthusiast and has written an article which I found on Dave’s Garden website.
Once in a while a flower grabs the gardener’s attention and screams, “Buy me, buy me!” That’s the way the glory lily did me when I saw its picture on a bulb bin at a garden center one spring several years ago. I’ve never regretted the demand, for the flowers delight me with glorious blooms every summer.
Other gardeners will understand why I found it irresistible when they see it in bloom. Reminiscent of flames, the undulating petals of the down-facing blooms sweep outward and upward, looking somewhat like a lily turned inside out, or maybe the way the hair sweeps back from the face when one is racing down the interstate in a convertible with the top down. Prominent stamens splay out from the center and attempt to follow the recurving petals’ backward arc.
Lance-shaped leaves of the gloriosa lily are unusual, too. Grasping tendrils develop at the tips of leaves and clasp onto any nearby object, including shrubs, fences, trellises, or even its own stem. The tendrils are sturdy and firm enough to pull the stem up to its six-foot height if given a support upon which to climb.
Gloriosa superba, sometimes called climbing lily, flame lily, gloriosa lily, or glory lily, is an unusual member of the lily family (Liliaceae). Plants grow from L- or V-shaped tubers that travel slowly underground. They are native to the tropical jungles of Africa.