Gloriosa superba (Flame Lily)

Scientific Name

Gloriosa superba L.

Common Names

Flame Lily, Climbing Lily, Creeping Lily, Glory Lily, Gloriosa Lily, Tiger Claw, Fire Lily


Eugone superba, Methonica superba, Gloriosa angulata, Gloriosa carsonii, Gloriosa cirrhifolia, Gloriosa doniana, Gloriosa nepalensis, Gloriosa rockefelleriana, Gloriosa rothschildiana, Gloriosa verschuurii, Gloriosa virescens var. petersiana, Methonica doniana, Methonica gloriosa, Methonica petersiana, Methonica plantii, Methonica senegalensis

Scientific Classification

Family: Colchicaceae
Genus: Gloriosa


Color: Yellow and orange-scarlet, aging a deeper shade of orange-red to purple
Bloom Time: Summer


Gloriosa superba is a deciduous, summer-growing climber up to 5 feet (1.5 m) tall, with tuberous roots. The slender stems are produced annually and are upright to scrambling and can grow up to 13.3 feet (4 m) long. Tubers sprout in spring, and a tuber sends up 1 to 6 stems. The leaves are shiny, bright green, and are tipped in a tendril, which will cling to anything it touches. The stems die back in late summer, and the tubers are dormant during winter. The showy flowers are borne in summer and are usually bi-colored yellow and orange-scarlet, aging a deeper shade of orange-red to purple. There is also a pure yellow form. The flowers are borne on long pedicels on the upper parts of the stems.

Gloriosa superba - Flame Lily
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How to Grow and Care

Select a location that receives six to eight hours of direct sunlight a day. In southern climates, a location that allows the vines to grow in full sun while the roots of the plant remain shaded is the best location for growing a Gloriosa Lily plant. Some protection from the afternoon sun may be needed as well.

Prepare the soil by tilling to a depth of 8 inches (20 cm) and amending with generous amounts of organic matter such as peat moss, compost, or well-rotted manure. Organic matter improves both drainage and aeration and provides a slow-release fertilizer to your Gloriosa Lilies.

Erect a 6-to 8-foot (1.8 to 2.4 m) trellis for your Gloriosa Lilies before planting. Check that it is secure and will not topple under the weight of the growing Gloriosa Lilies. See more at How to Grow and Care for Gloriosa Lilies.


Native to much of Africa and Asia, but it is known worldwide as an ornamental plant, a medicine, a poison, and a noxious weed.



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