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A picture of a Flame Lily

Flame Lily

Gloriosa superba

Also known as

Climbing Lily, Turk’S Cap, Superb Lily, Glory Lily, Gloriosa Lily, Flaming Lily, Turk's Cap, Vlamlelie, Boslelie, Geelboslelie, Rooiboslelie (Afr.), Ihlamvu, Ihlamvu-Labafana, Ihlamvu -Lomfana Nentombazana, Ihlamvu Lasolwandle, Isikwali Sasolwandle, Isimiselo

Gloriosa superba lilly by Malayalam Wikipedia (CC BY 3.0)

Full Sun
Moderate care
Light watering


USDA zone


Minimum temperature

Expected size









  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has a mild fragrance

More images of Flame Lily

Gloriosa superba
A photo of Flame Lily
A photo of Flame Lily
A photo of Flame Lily
A photo of Flame Lily

Flame Lily Overview

Gloriosa superba is a spectacular tuberous plant from the Colchicaceae family. It forms beautiful wavy-edged, yellow, orange and red flowers that resemble a burning flame. The leaves are interesting, forming tendrils at the tip of every leaf which are used for climbing. This plant is extremely poisonous and needs to be handled​ with care. ZA Distribution: Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga.

Common problems with Flame Lily

It may be susceptible to fungal attack and therefore requires a sandy soil with adequate drainage.

How to harvest Flame Lily

Harvest seeds in autumn and keep warm and dry until spring.

How to propagate Flame Lily


The easiest way to propagate this plant is by seed. Sow seeds in spring at a depth of 1 cm and space them 10 cm apart. Germination can take place anywhere between 2 weeks and 3 months from sowing.


Divide tubers just before new growth emerges in spring. Only divide large clumps and remove offsets to place them at a depth of 10 cm and space them 10 cm apart.

Special features of Flame Lily

Attracts useful insects

Attracts large butterflies and ants.

Attracts birds

Sunbirds are attracted by the nectar produced by the flowers.

Drought resistant

This species is water-wise and require very little amounts of water.

Pot plant

Great pot plant, as it is compact and perfect for medium to large sized pots.

Indoor plant

Can be grown indoors in a pot where filtered light is present.

Attractive flowers

Flowers are borne on long pedicels. They have 6 wavy-edged petals that are bent backwards so that they are pointing upwards, and may be yellow, orange, scarlet, purple or bi-coloured.

Other uses of Flame Lily

Climbing, greenhouse, indoors.


The main poisonous compound found in this plant is the active ingredient in de-worming medication.


Red Flowering Summer Plants

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