Hey everyone! Welcome to floral weekends. For those who don’t know, this is a segment started by me where I write about some beautiful and strange flowers from all around the world. If you also wanna be a part of this, pingback to my blog and use the tag #floralweekends. This way we can enjoy a number of beautiful flowers.
Today’s flower is Flame Lily or Gloriosa superba.
Kingdom – Plantae
Phylum – Tracheophyta
Division – Magnoliophyta
Class – Liliopsida
Order – Liliales
Family – Colchicaceae
Genus – Gloriosa
Species – G. superba L
This flower belongs to family Colchicaceae and known by names like flame lily, climbing lily, creeping lily, etc. This is a perrenial herb, scandent in nature found in Africa and Asia. Leaves are oppositely arranged. Talking about the flowers, it has 6 tepals, whats a tepal? A tepal is a name given when you can’t distinguish between a sepal and petal. The are bright red-orange at maturity and grow yellow when they’re old. There are six stamens with huge anthers dropping large amounts of yellow pollen.
When in bud form, the pale green tepals face down, as they mature, they wrinkly and keep twisting backwards while sequencing through a series of bright red-orange-yellow. The stamens remain prominent and spread outwards in glorious curves. This juxtaposition of petals and stamens make it look like a savage burning flame. Hence the name. Its so pretty!
Howsoever pretty this maybe, this flower is extremely toxic and poisonouse to humans. Ahh well good things come with a price, don’t they? This plant is also used to treat a bunch of diseases and conditions like ulcers, arthritis, kidney problems. Flame lily has many medicinal properties like colchicine, gloriosine, pungent, bitter, acrid, heating, anthelmintic, laxative, alexiteric, abortifacient etc. Its also the national flower of Zimbabwe.
A fun fact about the Flame Lily is that it’s actually considered a weed that thrives naturally in sandy coastal conditions. That’s one weed we wouldn’t mind having in our backyard. Glory lilies grow in many parts of tropical Africa and Asia, especially India.
Flame lily vines are an excellent choice for growing in containers (both indoors as houseplants and outdoors) or for weaving through an open fence. Gloriosa lily plants make lovely fresh-cut flower arrangements as well. If you cut the flowers just before the petals bend back, they will last up to eight days in an arrangement.
This flower is in decline in some parts of Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and South Africa, due to over collection of seeds and tubers.
Hope you enjoyed today’s flower. Have a Nice Day. 🙂