Exotic Gardening with Rare and Strange Plants

gloriosa superba

Gloriosa Superba : Flame Lily / Gloriosa Lily

What an incredible exotic bloom, for the second season in a row the Gloriosa has prevailed and provided a real showstopping performance. Potted in a slightly peaty mix, once moistened the Gloriosa lily’s thirst is easily satisfied. After the foliage dies down in the autumn I overwinter it in a frost free, relatively dry location. It can tolerate some moisture at this point but it is essential it doesn’t sit in the cold and the wet. It’s dormancy is longer than you might expect but once it pops up, it grows quickly. This year mine sprouted sometime in June and had flowers opening at the start of August. From there a succession of flowers, unfurling in the strangest way. The buds transform from green to red and as they age their colors intensify. If your in luck a pod will form and reward you a treasure of brightly colored seeds. Gloriosa superba is native to Africa and Asia and charms whoever crosses it’s path. Thoughts & Notes: The plant should be considered quite poisonous and caution should be taken when handling it’s fruits / leaves and/or tubers. DO NOT EAT! Propagate from seed or by dividing the tubers. Seeds have a dormancy that has been known to take a while (I’m still waiting). ┬áTubers are delicate, be careful. The freshly sprouted shoots in the spring are a delicacy to slugs and should be placed somewhere out of their reach. I lost two out of 3 potted specimens, the tubers didn’t recover from the grazing. Once shoots appear in early summer, provide a trellis, they need support. Most of all. Enjoy the show!

  • facebook Share on Facebook
  • stumble Share with Stumblers
  • twitter Tweet about it
  • rss Subscribe to the comments on this post
Mr Nat. Gardener, Plant Nerd
Tips and tales about gardening in one of the most mild climates in Canada. Specializing in rare and strange plants from far out destinations, this is the story of an obsessed young gardener in Victoria B.C. Let's create more tropical gardens in the garden city on the southern tip of Vancouver Island.