Flame lily, Gloriosa superbax
Gloriosa superba is a species of flowering plant in the family Colchicaceae. Common names include flame lily, climbing lily, creeping lily, glory lily, gloriosa lily, tiger claw, and fire lily.
This species is a perennial herb growing from a fleshy rhizome. It is scandent, climbing using modified leaf-tip tendrils, the stem reaching 4 meters long. The leaves are mainly alternately arranged, but they may be opposite, as well. They are somewhat lance-shaped and tipped with tendrils, and they are up 13 to 20 centimeters long. The showy flower has six tepals each up to 5 to 7.6 centimeters long. They are generally bright red to orange at maturity, sometimes with yellowish bases. The margins may be quite wavy. The six stamens also are long, up to 4 centimeters, and each bears a large anther at the tip that drops large amounts of yellow pollen. The style may be more than 6 centimeters long. One flower may weigh over 2.5 grams. The fruit is a fleshy capsule up to 6 to 12 centimeters long containing red seeds. Cultivars of this popular garden plant may vary from these wild-type characteristics; the cultivar 'Lutea' has all-yellow tepals, 'Citrina' is yellow with red markings, and 'Nana' is a dwarf. Whitish forms are known, as well.
Photograph by Westby Anthony
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