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 Gloriosa subsp. var.  Cats claw, Climbing lily, Flame lily, Glory lily
Gloriosa rothschildiana 01.jpg
Habit: vine-climber
Height: to
Width: to
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Lifespan: perennial
Poisonous: yes, see text
Hidden fields, interally pass variables to right place
Minimum Temp: °Fwarning.png"°F" is not a number.
USDA Zones: to
Sunset Zones:
Flower features:
Colchicaceae > Gloriosa var. ,

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Gloriosa is a genus of five or six species in the plant family Colchicaceae, from tropical Africa and Asia. They are tender, tuberous rooted deciduous perennials, adapted to summer rainfall with a dormant dry season. Their native range is Africa, Southeastern Asia and parts of Malaysia, but they are now widely cultivated[1]. All parts of the plant contain colchicine and related alkaloids and are therefore dangerously toxic if ingested, especially the tubers; contact with the stems and leaves can cause skin irritation.

Gloriosa are perennial herbs that climb or scramble over other plants with the aid of tendrils at the ends of their leaves and can reach 3 meters in height. They have showy flowers, distinctive because of their pronouncedly reflexed petals, like a Turk’s cap lily, ranging in colour from a greenish-yellow through yellow, orange, red and sometimes even a deep pinkish-red.

"Scandent herbs, the rootstock a horizontal rhizome, the stem leafy, the leaves spirally arranged or subopposite, the upper ones with cirrhose tips; flowers solitary, large, borne on long, spreading pedicels, actinomorphic, hermaphrodite; perianth segments 6, free, lanceolate, keeled within at base, long-persistent; stamens 6, hypogynous, the anthers extrorse, medifixed and versatile, opening by longitudinal slits; ovary superior, 3-celled, the carpels cohering only by their inner margins, the ovules numerous, the style deflected at base and projecting from the flower more or less horizontally; fruit a loculicidal capsule with many seeds"[1][citation needed].

Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Gloriosa (Latin for glorious). Syn., Meththoica. Liliaceae. Tall, weak-stemmed plants, supporting themselves by means of tendril-like prolongations of the leaves. Odd and handsome plants, to be grown in a warmhouse.

Leaves oblong, lanceolate or lance-ovate: fls. many and showy, long-stalked, borne singly in the axils of the upper lvs.; perianth of 6 distinct long segms. which are undulate or crisped, and reflexed after the manner of a cyclamen, variously colored; stamens 6, long and spreading, with versatile anthers; ovary 3- loculed; style long, and bent upward near the base.— Five or perhaps more tropical species, all African, and 1 also Asian.

Gloriosas are not difficult to grow. The brightest flowers are produced in sunlight. The plants grow from tubers. These tubers should be rested in early winter, and started in pots in January to March. The plants bloom in summer and fall. When potting the old tubers, offsets may be removed (when they occur) and grown separately for the production of new plants. The tubers may be cut in two for purposes of propagation. Let the plants stand near a pillar or other support. Give freely of water when the plants are growing. In this country they are sometimes bedded out in summer. Gloriosas are sometimes grown outdoors in summer in Massachusetts, and the plants so treated are not much inclined to climb and flower so freely as under glass. In Florida, they may be grown permanently in the open. Success with gloriosa depends on having strong bulbs. Consult Bulbs.

G. abyssinica. Rich., said to be the largest-fld. species, seeina not to be in cult.— G. leopoldii, Hort., a beautiful form with yellow and purple Us., is probably some form of G. simplex grandiflora. CH

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.



"Propagation generally occurs from seeds, although mature plants can be divided and grown from tubers. The hard seeds can remain dormant for 6-9 months."[2][citation needed].

Pests and diseases




  1. 1.0 1.1 (Smith, 1979; pp. 141-142)
  2. (Narain, 1977, cited in Csurhes & Edwards, 1998; pp. 164-165)

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