Gloriosa superba

Flame Lily

These are known to most gardeners as the ‘Flame Lily’ (‘Vlamlelie’ in Afrikaans) Gloriosa Superba is a trailing climber that has slender stems arising from deeply buried white, tuberous root stock. Borne at the end of a long stalk and resembling orchids, the large, single flowers are either brilliant red, orange or yellow in colour. The flowers usually appear in or near December and are sometimes used for table decorations at Christmas.

The flowers (and the leaves, seeds and roots) are highly poisonous, so extreme care has to be taken if they are to be used on the table.When planting Flame Lilies in the garden preferably place the roots in the shade and the flower heads in the sun – the ideal place is under trees. Do not water them in the winter months.

The Gardener