Years ago, I rented a house in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea and dabbled with a garden even though the sprinkler system was extremely unreliable and the yard was pure sand. I lived there for a few years and then one day I noticed a new plant coming up out of an abandoned planter box and the “weed” was interesting enough for me to decide to see what it would become. As the plant grew taller, I noticed that it was forming tendrils at the tips of the leaves and using them to grasp onto anything within reach in order to support itself. Eventually, I discovered flower buds and then spectacular red and yellow flowers began making appearances! I went through some plant books and identified the plant as Gloriosa superba ‘Rothschildiana.’ Apparently, their bulbs were dormant for several years but I was ecstatic that they came to life. The next few years, they went dormant from time to time but reliably came back after resting for six to eight weeks. The Gloriosas wrapped their tendrils around my heart as well so I found more varieties from Brent & Becky’s Bulbs and planted all of them. The yellow and orange varieties were interesting and amusing as a novelty but I found the most common “Rothschildiana’ to be my favorite. These lilies originate in Africa and Asia and are toxic as well as medicinal depending on how they are used. Unfortunately, in Australia, they are highly invasive because they move into coastal dunes and push out their native plants. Because they contain toxic compounds, they also cause deaths for their native birds and other animals when parts of the plants are ingested. I’ve never heard of this being a problem in the United States but it begs for further research. Most nurseries don’t grow them due to their occasional dormancy periods but I have also seen their bulbs at Home Depot every now and then.
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Filed Under: 1, Featured, Landscape Design Tagged With: Africa, Asia, Australia, Becky, Birds, Botanical Visions, Bulbs, Climbing Lily, Coastal Dunes, Creeping Lily, Deaths, Flame Lily, Flower Buds, Further Research, Gloriosa Lily, Glory Lily, Greenish Yellow, Home Depot, India, Jennifer Mennuti, Lauderdale By The Sea, Lilies, Lily, Mature Plants, Native Animals, Native Birds, Native Plants, Native Species, Nurseries, Orange Varieties, Plant Books, Planter Box, Propagation, Red And Yellow Flowers, Rothschild, Seeds, Sprinkler System, Superba, Tendrils, Toxic Compounds, Tubers, Weed