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Garden Escapee from Africa and Asia: Glory Lily

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The Glory Lily (Gloriosa superba) is a perennial herb with climbing stems up to 4m that die off over winter, with long lived underground tubers.  

Glory lily

The showy flowers of the Glory lily – African and Asian pest

Leaves are shiny green, narrow with 2cm long curling end tendrils.  Flowers are showy yellow/orange and/or red with “petals” turned back to expose stamens. October to May. Fleshy ovoid capsules with many red seeds.

Spread by garden waste, birds and humans.  Glory Lily loves coastal habitats and tolerates nutrient poor soils.

Control by manual removal (using gloves for protection) seed pods and digging out tubers and rhizomes removed completely.

Chemical control in December and then February before fruiting and seasonal dieback using Glyphosate & water 1:50(20mL/L) + metsulfuron methyl @ 1.5g/10L water (with non-ionic surfactant.).

Please note glory lily is highly toxic to humans, native mammals and livestock.

Garden alternatives: Scrambling lily (Geitnoplesium cymosum), Wombat berry (Eustrephus latifolius), Christmas bells (Blandfordia grandiflora), False sarsparilla vine (Hardenbergia violacea), Dusky coral pea (Kennedia rubicunda).

Article contributed by Juliet Musgrave, Fraser Coast Regional Council

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