Flame lily (Gloriosa superba)

Flame lily (Gloriosa superba)

Flame Lily (Gloriosa superba) is a beautiful plant that grows well in tropical climates. The flowers bloom from June through August. This perennial flower has gained popularity since its introduction into horticulture in 1875.

Flame Lilies are native to South Africa and Asia. They are also known as Gloriosa, African Lily, Fire lily, climbing flame lily or simply glory vine. These plants are very easy to grow and require little maintenance.

Its flowers are large and fragrant, and they attract butterflies. This plant has been grown for centuries in Europe, where it was used as a medicinal herb. Today, it is also cultivated for cut flower production.

Flame lily

Plant care

Gloriosa lily bulbs are easy to grow and care for. They don’t require much attention once planted out in full sun. You can plant them directly into the ground or start them indoors under lights. Once you buy your tubers, store them over the winter for planting in the spring. If you live in a cold climate, it’s best to wait until early April to plant.

You can easily grow them by propagating the tubers. You can also grow Gloriosa superba from seed. Simply sow seeds in small pots filled with potting mix. Keep the temperature at 70 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 60 degrees at night. Water regularly and keep the soil moist but not soggy. When the seedlings sprout, transplant them into larger containers.

When growing this plant indoors, provide adequate light and heat. If you live in a cold climate, protect the plants from frost. You can also grow this plant outdoors in full sun.

 Chemical constituents

The chemical constituents of Gloriosa superba include alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins, saponins, steroids, triterpenes, phenolic compounds, essential oils, carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, and other substances. The leaves of this plant contain Colchicine alkaloids which have been used for medicinal purposes. It is recommended that pregnant women avoid eating these leaves because they may cause birth defects.

Medicinal uses

The Gloriosa superba plant has been used for centuries to treat various ailments such as cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and heart disease.

The root extract of Gloriosa Superba has been shown to inhibit tumor cell proliferation. In addition, the saponin fraction of the plant inhibits the growth of breast cancer cells.

It is often used as a home remedy for common ailments like fever, cough, diarrhea, stomach ache, and respiratory problems.

Its leaves and stems are boiled in water and then consumed orally. The tea made from the leaves is said to relieve headaches, muscle pain, and insomnia.

This herb is also used to make herbal teas and salves.

Some people use it to treat burns, wounds, insect bites, and rashes.

Some people believe that the smoke inhaled from burning the leaves of this plant helps clear the lungs.

Flame lily

Precautions and side effects of flame lily

The pre-cautions and side effects of Glorious Superba plant include: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, constipation, blurred vision, increased blood pressure, and allergic reactions. If you experience any of these symptoms, stop taking the supplement immediately and consult your doctor.

The leaves contain toxic alkaloids called cardiotonic steroids which cause heart failure when ingested. The plant has been used for centuries as a poison and was once popular among European royalty.

As with any herb, there are some precautions when using this plant. Consult your doctor before taking this herb if you are pregnant or nursing.

Flame lily

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Extra reading

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Happy Gardening!

Dr. Vandana K.