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Our floral focus this summer is the eye-catching gloriosa lily, also known as the glory lily or flame lily due to its strikingly beautiful flame-like flowers. Gloriosa is a relatively rare and exotic plant not readily available in many parts of the world. Its flower is a vivid red-pink colour with corkscrew tendrils and a distinctive inside out flower where the stamen is on the outside of the uniquely shaped bloom.

Gloriosa lily can reach a height of up to 3 metres in the wild where they tend to climb and grow over other plants. They are found growing in scrub on the side of the road like beautiful eye-catching weeds in places they are native to. 

History of gloriosa

Native to tropical and southern Africa and Asia, gloriosa was introduced to Europe in 18th century where quickly became popular due to its unique form. Its official name is Gloriosa rothschildiana, named after the zoologist Lionel Rothschild. It is the national flower of Zimbabwe where the plant is protected and said to be the source of all life.

In Hinduism, the gloriosa lily is associated with the goddess Kali and is believed to have medicinal properties. In Africa it was used in traditional medicines to treat various ailments and is believed to have antipyretic, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory properties.

According to the language of flowers, gloriosa lily symbolises glory, pride, ambition, honour, fame, and success, perhaps due to its climbing nature. This symbolism makes it the perfect gift for someone starting a new job or commencing a new beginning.

How to care for gloriosa

Gloriosa lilies have very delicate petals and thin stems which need to be handled with care to avoid damaging the petals and breaking the stem. The tendrils can also become tangled with each other and may need to be gently separated when arranging in a vase.

When selecting gloriosa, choose stems with some flowers in bud. Cut approximately 2cm off the ends of the stems on an angle and immediately plunge into a vase of cool water. Recut the stems and change the water every two days and keep away from direct sunlight, excessive heat, and drafts. Gloriosa are sensitive to ethylene so keep away from car exhaust fumes, cigarette smoke, and fruit. This bloom is not pet friendly due to its toxicity and should be kept away from pets who tend to nibble on plants.

How to style gloriosa

The intriguing appearance of the gloriosa bloom and the sculptural quality of the stems and tendrils makes this beauty ideal to style on its own. You only need a few stems of this spectacularly unique botanical to see it shine. The unique and impressive gloriosa lily is the perfect gift for floral enthusiasts in cut flower or plant form.

Have you heard the news? We’ve opened a Flower Shop in Armadale!

1129 High Street, Armadale

We hope you can come to visit our Armadale Florist soon.