Flame Lily Update: It’s Opening!

A few weeks ago, my Gloriosa superba vines were barely in bud.  Now they’ve branched in several directions and even started opening.


G. Superba, 8/5/14

Each Flame Lily is borne on a single leaf axis and typically takes 17days to complete the flowering cycle.  The photo above was taken yesterday at 8:30AM and the one below around 3:00PM.  As the blossoms mature, the tepals elongate and wrinkle, eventually arching upward as seen below.  Six stamens encircle a longer “eyelash” pistil that points to the side in an adaptation that discourages self fertilization: any pollen released from the stamens will fall below the pistil.


Looking at it this morning, it’s easy to see how G. superba got its common name!


G. superba, 8/6/14

It really DOES resemble flames against the sky!!

Until next time…

🙂 🙂 🙂

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43 thoughts on “Flame Lily Update: It’s Opening!

  1. I had this lovely plant as a pot plant for the house once. It looks so much more beautiful grown outside in your garden instead of in captivity.

    • Thank you! It’s having a good first blooming cycle, in part because it’s been overly hot and moist these last few weeks. Uncomfortable for humans but good for establishing a tropical vine!

  2. Funny that you write about flame lily when I write about lily. Though they are not the same genus, there is a definite lily-look to the Gloriosa superba flowers. Very nice and tropical.

    • When I saw the seed packet at McKee (our local botanical garden) I grabbed it immediately It takes 3 yrs from seed to first flowering but it was definitely worth it. (Planting from rhizomes would have been smarter/quicker but those weren’t available at the time!)

    • Everyone who stops by my house has said similar. Although I’m not a huge fan of the over 90degree days we’ve had for 3wks, it IS helping establish the vine. It is blooming and branching more than I’d expect for it’s first flower cycle.

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