Friday, June 12, 2015

Gloriosa Lily

 This is Gloriosa Lily, a beautiful colorful flower That has climbing tendrils at the end of the leaves. It can grow to 9/10 feet tall, although mine usually top out at about 5/6 feet. They can stand alone at first, but as they get taller and the buds begin to develop, they lean or flop and without support will scramble along the ground. They willingly reach out and take hold of any available support, plant or trellis.
 Gloriosa is a member of the Cholchicaceae, and as you might guess is poisonous, so don't eat any.
I have been growing mine for many years and originally purchased one from a home gardener in south Alabama. Through the years it has spread to the point that I have quite a nice group now.
 The bulbs are flat and do not clump as most lilies. They form new plants at a distance of a couple of feet from the last plant. I have successfully moved one to another bed, but always feel anxious about how to do it. I think the best way is to wait til they begin to die back and then move them. Once they have died back, they are hard to find underground and you run the risk of damaging the bulbs.
The sources say they are only hardy in zones 10 and 11 and zone 9 with mulch. I did not know that and mine have always thrived in my zone 8 garden. Full sun is best, but they can be perfectly beautiful in some shade.

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