Gloriosa Superba (Flame Lilies)

After hobbling along for 4 yrs, my Gloriosa superba vines are going the distance!  Finally, some healthy, sturdy growth.


Flame lilies are herbaceous perennials in the Colchicaceae family, native to tropical Africa, Asia and India. They love hot sun and heavy rain so adapt well in Florida Zones 9-11.  Mine were germinated from seed but they can also grow from tubers, a wiser choice if you prefer flowers within the first or second season.

When ready to bloom, greenish capsules appear between the leaves and stem, so I was excited to see a bud among these upper leaves!


G.superba are scandent vines, meaning their leaves taper to curling tendrils that cling to anything they encounter.  In the picture below, the tendrils are using  V.bonnariensis for extra support.


Word of caution: all parts of G.superba are poisonous, especially the mature tubers that look A LOT like sweet potatoes!  If you choose to grow both, make sure you recognize the difference, or plant them on opposite ends of the yard to be extra safe. You’d hate to sit down to dinner and be dead by bedtime! 😮

I’ll post about the Flame Lily’s extraordinary, unusual flower shape as soon as they open!

Until next time….

🙂 🙂 🙂


11 thoughts on “Gloriosa Superba (Flame Lilies)

  1. Your vines are looking very robust and healthy, and that bud quite ginormous – looking forward to Part II) 🙂 I loved seeing them in Sri Lanka, growing in wild hedgerows along the roads, scrambling up walls and inclines … Unfortunately they also popped up in the news from time to time as the means of some unfortunate young woman’s suicide.

  2. I had these in my garden in Atlanta, you will love them, the flowers are so cool. Bulbs are the way to go. It took a year to get the flowers and I was fascinated with them. The pictures are the wallpaper on my blog..

  3. “You’d hate to sit down to dinner and be dead by bedtime!” But that might be beneficial depending on who your dinner guests are!

  4. Pingback: Flame Lily Update: It’s Opening! | small house/BIG GARDEN

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