African Flame Lily

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Plantae Liliales Colchicaceae Gloriosa Gloriosa superba
  • Plant Type: Perennial Climbing herb.
  • Common Names: African Flame Lily, Climbing Lily, Creeping Lily, Glory lily, Gloriosa Lily, Tiger Claw.
  • Colors: Yellowish-green to Bright red. The margin of the flower is yellow.
  • Flower Dimensions: Each tepal is 2-3 inches in length.
  • Flowering Season: Mid-summer to fall.

African Flame Lily F

Gloriosa superba is a climbing herb belonging to Liliales. It can grow to a height of 1 meter.

African Flame Lily Flower

  • The African Lily plant uses modified leaf-tip tendrils for climbing.
  • African Flame Lilies grow from a thick tuberous rootstock.
  • Most African Lily plants have alternate leaves. The simple leaves are lance-shaped with tendrils.
  • The flowers of the Gloriosa superba consist of 6 tepals. These tepals are showy in bright red to orange with yellowish bases. The flower margins of the African Lily are wavy.
  • The flowers of the African Flame Lilies are on pedicels up to 7 ½ inches in length on the leaf axils.
Where can African Flame Lilies be mostly spotted?
Flower WatchingAfrica

Interesting Facts about African Flame Lily

Climbing Lily

  • A diamond brooch in a ‘Flame Lilys[1] shape was presented to the crown of Queen Elizabeth (when she was still a princess) during her visit to in 1947 then Rhodesia.
  • The plant is considered a danger to livestock because it has poisonous properties. All parts of G. superba[2] are toxic, especially the tubers. This may cause fatality when eaten.
  • In lower doses, African Flame Lilies[3] can be used in traditional medicine. In Asia and Africa, G. superba[4] is an important medicinal plant used to cure many diseases. It has antiabortion, purgative, antihelminthic, and antipyretic properties.
  • G. superba is included in the Red Data Book and is considered on the verge of extinction due to the overconsumption of the species for different medical purposes.
  • The seeds of G. superba[5] are rich in colchicine and colchicoside, putting the species in great demand globally. In addition, colchicine is medically used to treat gout and rheumatism.

Gloriosa Superba

Suggested Reading: All Flowers of The World

Cite This Page

APA7MLA8Chicago (2023, October 02). African Flame Lily. Bio Explorer. "African Flame Lily" Bio Explorer, 02 October 2023, "African Flame Lily" Bio Explorer, October 02 2023.
Key References
  • [1]“African Flame Lily – Flowers – Africa”. Accessed April 18, 2023. Link.
  • [2]“Gloriosa superba (Cat’s Claw, Climbing Lily, Flame Lily, Gloriosa Lily, Glory Lily, Superb Lily, Tiger’s Claw) | North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox”. Accessed April 18, 2023. Link.
  • [3]“Gloriosa lily, Gloriosa superba – Wisconsin Horticulture”. Accessed April 18, 2023. Link.
  • [4]“Review: Current Advances in Gloriosa superba L.| Biodiversitas Journal of Biological Diversity”. Accessed April 18, 2023. Link.
  • [5]“Critical review on medicinally potent plant species: Gloriosa superba – ScienceDirect”. Accessed April 18, 2023. Link.


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