This week at Westridge Florist Toowoomba, we have nominated the Flame Lily as our Flower of the Week! Not only is it gorgeous to look at but it’s also one of those most intriguing plants with a rich history under its petals. While these fire-like flowers are used for some medicinal purposes, they are entirely poisonous. It is also illegal to trade, pick, damage or possess the lily unless within the limits of a permit.
Did You Know?
The Flame Lily has been woven throughout Zimbabwe’s history. For those who may not know, Zimbabwe is a landlocked country in Africa. It is known best for the dramatic landscape and diverse wildlife, as well as iconic spots like Victoria Falls. This striking lily was the national flower of Rhodesia and remained so when the country gained independence in 1980 and became the Zimbabwe we know today.
Sadly the flower is becoming scarce as poachers illegally pick the blooms to sell, also damaging the plant which prevents it from regrowing. Because of the extreme poverty in Zimbabwe, trade in this flower can make a huge financial difference to a poor family. It is possible to make up to US$80 in a day during the wet flowering season. However Zimbabwe is working hard to protect its national flower from extinction!
Botanical Name| Gloriosa Superba L
Common Name| Flame Lily (A.k.a Glory Lily)
Meaning| Purity | Beauty | Cockerel (Kajongwe in the language of Shona)
Description| This striking lily can climb up to eight feet using tendrils with the flower reaching up to five inches across. The contrast of the bright red and yellow petals on rocky outcrops in semi-shaded areas, such as forests, makes this bloom even more breathtaking. All parts of this plant are extremely toxic.
Interesting Fact| Queen Elizabeth (then Princess Elizabeth) celebrated her 21st birthday abroad, touring Africa with her family. This brooch was a gift from 42,000 children in Southern Rhodesia. The schoolchildren donated a bit of pocket money each to contribute to the creation of this 301 diamond-strong platinum piece in the shape of a flame lily, Rhodesia’s national flower.
Westridge Florist Toowoomba
Author: Jessica Schoultz