Scientific name: Gloriosa superba
Other names: fire lily, climbing lily, creeping lily, glory lily
It’s a showstopping flower that will ignite your passion for gardening. The flame lily is a climbing vine with showy, wavy yellow and red flowers that resembles flames, hence the name. In bud, the pale green petals face downwards. As it matures, the petals elongate and wrinkle, while arching backwards to reveal a gorgeous 6-petaled flower. The stamens are just as visually stunning as the petals, spreading outward in a graceful manner. Flowers grow to be 3-5 inch in size.
The flame lily can also be distinguished by the tendrils on the tip of the glossy leaves, which helps it climb.
It is a popular cultivated plant because it’s easy to grow and hardy. They do best in well drained, rich soils. Choose sunny or partial shade locations. And because the flame lily is a weak, but fast climber, it should be supported with a trellis, fence or shrub. The vines can reach heights up to 8 feet. Flame lilies are also suitable for container gardening. Flowers will bloom from late spring to early fall.
It is native to tropical places in Southern Africa and Asia, but it highly cultivated for its showy flowers. It’s hard to believe this beautiful flower is considered a weed in some countries.
Fun Flower Facts about the Flame Lily:
- It is the national flower of Zimbabwe
- It is in the same family as the autumn crocus (colchicaceae)
- The flame lily is used in Africa in traditional herbal medicine to treat gout, intestinal worms, infertility, and as an antidote to snake bites.
- It has been proven to be useful in the treatment of arthritis, cholera, colic and kidney problems.
- All parts of the plant, especially the tubers, the swollen underground stems, are extremely poisonous. Ingestion of the flame lily can cause death. It has been used to commit murders, suicides and to induce abortions.