Gloriosa superba L.

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Gloriosa superba

Picture: Bart Wursten
Vumba Gateway garden

Gloriosa superba

Picture: Bart Wursten
Tiger Kloof, Mutare

Gloriosa superba

Picture: Bart Wursten
Ndundu Lodge, Vumba

Gloriosa superba

Picture: Petra Ballings
National Botanic Garden, Harare

Gloriosa superba

Picture: Helen Pickering
South of Livingstone: take the road past Batoka Sky (Sichinga road on 1974 map) to the T junction, turn right, on right hand side about half way to ZAWA gate.

Gloriosa superba

Picture: Helen Pickering
Riverside drive about 300m before ZAWA gate

Gloriosa superba

Picture: Bart Wursten
Cleveland Dam

Gloriosa superba

Picture: Petra Ballings
School site Nhancuco, lower slopes Mt. Gorongosa

Gloriosa superba

Picture: Petra Ballings
School site Nhancuco, lower slopes Mt. Gorongosa

Gloriosa superba

Picture: Bart Wursten
Edge of Aberfoyle Golf course

Gloriosa superba

Picture: Bart Wursten
Val D'Or

Gloriosa superba

Picture: Bart Wursten
Path from entrance gate to Great Enclosure, Great Zimbabwe

Gloriosa superba

Picture: Bart Wursten
By road from Birchenough Bridge-Masvingo Rd to Lake Kyle Recreational Park entrance gate

Gloriosa superba

Picture: David Gwynne-Evans
Lower slopes Mt Mabu

Gloriosa superba

Picture: Bart Wursten
Nyahokwe Hill, Nyanga

Gloriosa superba

Picture: Bart Wursten
Mt Chinaka, Juliasdale

Gloriosa superba

Picture: Michelle Harvey-Hyde
Near summit of Hill Complex, Great Zimbabwe

Gloriosa superba

Picture: Sune Holt
Vilankulo, Inhambane, Mozambique

Gloriosa superba

Picture: Sune Holt
Vilankulo, Inhambane, Mozambique

Gloriosa superba

Picture: Sune Holt
Vilankulo, Inhambane, Mozambique

Gloriosa superba

Kundalila Falls; Jan 2014.
Photo: Mike Bingham

Gloriosa superba

Kamukanda; Dec 2010.
Photo: Mike Bingham

Gloriosa superba

Chipongwe Cave, Lusaka SSW 28km; Jan 2014.
Photo: Mike Bingham

Gloriosa superba

Lusaka, cultivated; Jan 2010.
Photo: Mike Bingham

Gloriosa superba

Floodplain; Kabompo River at Ntambu; Dec 2009.
Photo: Mike Bingham

Gloriosa superba

Floodplain; Kabompo River at Ntambu; Dec 2009.
Photo: Mike Bingham

Gloriosa superba

Sprouting from tips of both arms of tuber; Nov 2014.
Photo: Mike Bingham

Gloriosa superba

Lusaka East; Mar 1996.
Photo: Mike Bingham

Gloriosa superba

Picture: Bart Wursten
Along road between Runde River and Tembwahata, Gonarezhou National Park.

Gloriosa superba

Picture: Tomas Buruwate
Niassa Game Reserve.

Gloriosa superba

Picture: Tomas Buruwate
Niassa Game Reserve.

Gloriosa superba

Picture: UJ Staff
TCT-Catapú

Gloriosa superba

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

Gloriosa superba

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

Gloriosa superba

Picture: Bart Wursten
Nhago Camp, Coutada 12

Gloriosa superba

Picture: David Gwynne-Evans
Inhaca Island.

Gloriosa superba

Picture: Bart Wursten
Along track from Kazungula road to Chamabonda Vlei, Zambezi National Park.

Gloriosa superba

Picture: Bart Wursten
Mukolo Camp, Kavango River

Gloriosa superba

Picture: Bart Wursten
Mukolo Camp, Kavango River

Gloriosa superba

Picture: Bart Wursten
Along Khami road before turn-off to Chesa Forest Land, Umguza District.

Gloriosa superba

Picture: Bart Wursten
Main road from Thazima Gate, Nyika National Park

Gloriosa superba

Picture: Bart Wursten
Along path to Mt Binga above Nhamadzi River crossing, Chimanimani National Reserve

Gloriosa superba

Picture: Frances Murray-Hudson
Near Thamlakhane River, Maun

Gloriosa superba

Picture: Frances Murray-Hudson
Near Thamlakhane River, Maun

Gloriosa superba

Picture: Frances Murray-Hudson
Near Thamlakhane River, Maun

Specimen citations: Display citations Detailed records: Display species records QDS maps by: Google Maps Point records by Google Maps

Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Gloriosa carsonii Baker
Gloriosa lutea Hort.
Gloriosa simplex L.
Gloriosa virescens Lindl.
Common names: Christmas flower (English: Zambia) Flame lily (English: Zambia)
Frequency: Common and widespread
Status: Native
Description:
Habit very variable, erect and free standing, to about 1 m tall, or scandent. Flowers facing downward (‘nodding’), on long pedicels, recurved towards the tip. Tepals reflexed, monochrome red, orange or yellow, or bicoloured yellow and various shades of red or dull mauve; margins sinuate or not. Stamens wide spreading, strongly upturned.
Type location:
India
Notes: The species is far more common than is generally realised, as few plants escape attack by insects which prevents flowering while not causing permanent damage to the plant.
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:
Flowering time:Dec - Feb
Worldwide distribution: Throughout tropical Africa, Asia and Indian Ocean islands.
Zambian distribution (Flora Zambesiaca): B,N,W,C,E,S
Zambian distribution (Provinces): Nw,Cb,Lp,N,Mc,E,C,Lk,S,W
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).

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 28.

Chapano, C. & Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 18.

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).

Linley, K. & Baker, B. (1972). Flowers of the Veld Bundu Series Longman Zimbabwe Pages 12 - 13. (Includes a picture).

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 86.

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).

Moriarty, A. (1975). Wild Flowers of Malawi Purnell & sons Cape Town. Page 20. Also as Gloriosa virescens (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.

Wursten, B., Timberlake, J. & Darbyshire, I. (2017). The Chimanimani Mountains: an updated checklist. Kirkia 19(1) Page 81.

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 Zimbabwe: Gloriosa superba
Flora of Zimbabwe: cultivated Gloriosa superba

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Gloriosa superba
African Plant Database: Gloriosa superba
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Gloriosa superba
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Gloriosa superba
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Gloriosa superba
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Gloriosa superba
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Gloriosa superba
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network): Gloriosa superba
iNaturalist: Gloriosa superba
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Gloriosa superba
JSTOR Plant Science: Gloriosa superba
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Gloriosa superba
Kew Monocotyledon checklist: Gloriosa superba
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Gloriosa superba
Plants of the World Online: Gloriosa superba
The Plant List (version 1.1): Gloriosa superba
Tropicos: Gloriosa superba
Wikipedia: Gloriosa superba


Copyright: Mike Bingham, Annette Willemen, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Mark Hyde, 2011-20

Bingham, M.G., Willemen, A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. and Hyde, M.A. (2020). Flora of Zambia: Species information: Gloriosa superba.
https://www.zambiaflora.com/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=113060, retrieved 6 August 2020

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