Gloriosa superba ‘Rothchildiana’ lily

Native to tropical Africa and Asia, this beautiful member of the lily family is a climbing tuberous rooted perennial, rising up to 2 metres, using its tendril tipped leaves to cling onto any support.and it’s flame like flower petals with wavy yellow then red edges are truly stunning. Gloriosa prefers a nice rich well drained loamy soil and is not frost tolerant, but can be grown outside in  summer in the UK. In tropical Australia it is considered invasive, causing native animal deaths. An example of the wrong plant in the wrong place!

Like many lilies, all parts of the plant are extremely poisonous if ingested, containing the chemical colchicine, minute doses of which are used in the treatment of gout. It can also cause skin irritation when handling, so use gloves. The plant produces tubers as it dies down which can be separated and re-potted, they do appear to tolerate frosts if kept outside over winter buried in a dry spot. It is the national flower of Zimbabwe.

 

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