25 June 2010

The Exotic Glory Lily

Here's a tropical vine to try.  Spotted at Kuhlmann's Market Gardens and Greenhouses a couple years ago, I could not resist taking a photo.  It is the most splendid tropical vine I have yet seen.  Originating from tropical Africa and Asia, the glory lily is the national flower of Zimbabwe.  The glory lily's botanical name is Gloriosa superba.  Hardy in zones 10-11, sometimes zone 9.  Otherwise it makes a stunning annual vine.

Climbing from eight to 12 feet, the glory lily is a vigorous vine perfectly suited for a trellis.  The flowers have yellow margins on red petals and look somewhat spidery with long stamens protruding.

Plant in full to part-sun in well-drained organic-rich soil.  Use a balanced slow-release fertilizer.  The tubers can be dug in the fall, stored much like a gladiola bulb and planted again in the spring.


Keith said...

Have you grown this yourself yet? It really is so easy, and here in the UK I simply grow it in a pot. I withdraw water in September and put it under a covered area until late October when it's bought indoors. Then in the spring, the pot is emptied, the tubers (which double in number without fail every year) replanted in fresh compost and maybe a larger pot, and then I restart it's growth.

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