Gloriosa superba L.

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Gloriosa superba

Photo: Bart Wursten
Vumba Gateway garden

Gloriosa superba

Photo: Bart Wursten
Ndundu Lodge, Vumba

Gloriosa superba

Photo: Petra Ballings
National Botanic Garden, Harare

Gloriosa superba

Photo: Bart Wursten
Near Rhino Hotel, Old Runde Bridge.

Gloriosa superba

Photo: Bart Wursten
Near Rhino Hotel, Old Runde Bridge.

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Synonyms: Gloriosa carsonii Baker
Gloriosa lutea Hort.
Gloriosa simplex L.
Gloriosa virescens Lindl.
Common names: Amakukhulume (Ndebele) Flame lily (English) Kajongwe (Shona)
Frequency: Common
Status: Native
Description:
Erect or scandent herb, with annual stems growing from an elongated, often forked corm. Stems up to c. 3 m long in climbing plants, much shorter when erect. Leaves numerous, opposite, whorled or alternate along the stem, variable from linear to broadly ovate, 6-15 cm long excluding an often tendrillous, coiled apex up to 7 cm long. Flowers axillary on a pedicel, 9-13 cm, bent near the apex. Tepals much reflexed, oblanceolate or spathulate, 5-8.3 cm long more or less strongly undulate margins. Flower colour very variable, cream, yellow, orange, red, maroon or purple-brown, many forms with yellow margins on the tepals.
Notes: The well-known red and yellow woodland variety from the highveld has earned it its common name. This is the national flower of Zimbabwe. Many colour and plant varieties exist, such as the form with wide, smooth plum-coloured petals, known mostly from the lowveld; orange forms are known from the western lowveld and Botswana; pure yellow forms are found in the Eastern Highlands. Some varieties were formerly described as separate species but are now regarded as belonging to one highly variable species, characterised by the tendril-bearing leaves.
Derivation of specific name: superba: superb, proud, referring to the spectacular flowers
Habitat: Various woodland types, thicket margins, rocky terrain and termite mounds.
Altitude range: (metres) 300 - 1800 m
Flowering time:Dec - Feb
Worldwide distribution: Throughout tropical Africa, Asia and Indian Ocean islands.
Zimbabwe distribution: N,W,C,E,S
Growth form(s): Climber.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species: spilosoma lineata (Larval foodplant)
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Literature:

Bandeira, S., Bolnick, D. & Barbosa, F. (2007). Wild Flowers of Southern Mozambique Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, Maputo, Mozambique Page 54. (Includes a picture).

Baumann, G. (2005). Photographic Guide to Wildflowers of Malawi Wildlife and Environmental Society of Malawi Pages 202 - 203. also as Gloriosa carsonii (Includes a picture).

Bolnick, D. (2007). A Guide to the Common Wild Flowers of Zambia and Neighbouring Regions Revised Edition. WECS, Lusaka, Zambia Page 63. (Includes a picture).

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 294. (Includes a picture).

Fabian, A. & Germishuizen, G. (1997). Wild Flowers of Northern South Africa. Fernwood Press, Vlaeburg. Pages 36 - 37. (Includes a picture).

Heath, A. & Heath, R. (2009). Field Guide to the Plants of Northern Botswana including the Okavango Delta Kew Publishing Page 120. (Includes a picture).

La Croix, I. (2009). Colchicaceae Flora Zambesiaca 12(2) Pages 182 - 185. (Includes a picture).

Maroyi, A (2002). Colchicaceae in Zimbabwe Kirkia 18(1) Page 3.

Maroyi, A. (2012). The genus Gloriosa (Colchicaceae) - ethnobotany, phylogeny and taxonomy Wageningen University, Netherlands Pages 1 - 194. (Includes a picture).

Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32

Pickering, H. & Roe, E. (2009). Wild Flowers of the Victoria Falls Area Helen Pickering, London Page 49. (Includes a picture).

Plowes, D.C.H. & Drummond, R.B. (1990). Wild Flowers of Zimbabwe. Revised edition. Longman, Zimbabwe. No. 3, plate 13,14 & 15

Pooley, E. (1998). A Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Region. Natal Flora Publications Trust. Durban. Pages 26 - 27. (Includes a picture).

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 117.

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Page 69.

Timberlake, J.R. & Childes, S.L. (2004). Biodiversity of the Four Corners Area: Technical Reviews Volume Two (Chapter 5-15) Appendix 5-1: Plant Checklist Occasional Publications in Biodiversity 15 Page 181.

Vinnersten, A. & Manning, J. (2007). A new classification of Colchicaceae. Taxon 56 Pages 171 - 178.


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Other sources of information about Gloriosa superba:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Gloriosa superba
Flora of Caprivi: Gloriosa superba
Flora of Malawi: Gloriosa superba
Flora of Mozambique: Gloriosa superba
Flora of Zambia: Gloriosa superba
Flora of Zimbabwe: cultivated Gloriosa superba

External websites:

African Plant Database: Gloriosa superba
Biodiversity Explorer (Biodiversity of southern Africa): Gloriosa superba
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Gloriosa superba
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Gloriosa superba
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Gloriosa superba
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network) taxonomy for plants report for Gloriosa superba
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Gloriosa superba
Ispot Southern Africa : Gloriosa superba
JSTOR Plant Science: Gloriosa superba
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Gloriosa superba
Kew Monocotyledon checklist: Gloriosa superba
Tropicos: Gloriosa superba
West African Plants database: Gloriosa superba


Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-16

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2016). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Gloriosa superba.
http://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=113060, retrieved 30 August 2016

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