Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Gloriosa superba

The Flame Lily (Gloriosa superba) or Niyagala photographed in Anuradhapura
The Flame Lily (Gloriosa superba) photographed in Anuradhapura 

The Flame Lily is a tuberous climbing plant which is native to tropical central and southern Africa. It also grows wild in Sri Lanka and is also the national flower of Zimbabwe. Every part of this plant is extremely poisonous and can be fatal if ingested. It is called Niyagala in Sinhalese and is synonymous with suicide. Read on for more info and images.

The Flame Lily (Gloriosa superba) or Niyagala photographed in Anuradhapura
The Flame Lily (Gloriosa superba) photographed in Anuradhapura 

These plants are known to reach around 2.4 meters in height and bloom between the months of November and March. The plant grows in sandy-loam soil, in mixed deciduous forests and is very tolerant of nutrient poor soils. Although ingestion of the plants can be fatal, the sap from the tips of the leaves is used to treat pimples and other skin problems. The tuber is used for the treatment of bruises, sprains, colic, chronic ulcers,  haemorrhoids, and cancer. 

The Flame Lily (Gloriosa superba) or Niyagala photographed in Anuradhapura
The Flame Lily (Gloriosa superba) photographed in Anuradhapura 

These images were captured in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. I used a Canon 400D  with the 50mm f1.8 lens. 

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