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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8 comments:

Breanna said...

That is a beautiful flower! Great shot!

holdingmoments said...

Deadly, but beautiful.
A lovely looking flower Dev.

Kirigalpoththa said...

Glorious and Superb!

Dev Wijewardane said...

Thanks for the comments guys.

Chris said...

hi Dev,
Wow that's a very strange flower but very beautiful... Nature will always surprises me. Beautiful pictures!

Mary Howell Cromer said...

What a gloriously stunning plant and you captured them very well~

Gallicissa said...

...also the 'National Flower' of Tamil Elam.

Dev Wijewardane said...

Yeah that's true Amila. For obvious reasons I suppose...