Gloriosa superba medicinal uses and pictures (Flame lily)

Gloriosa superba: The Climbing Lily belongs to the species of perennial herbs with a fleshy rhizome. The tuberous herb is a beautiful ornamental plant. The plant grows up to 3-6 meters and has a leafy stem. They train them 1.5 metres above the ground.

They prefer thickets and forests. You can find them in sand dunes, mountain habitats, deciduous woodlands, sparse savannah grasslands, and shrub lands. It grows from the sea level up to an elevation of 2,500 meters. Propagated from seeds, they take three or four years to grow. The pollination occurs through sun-birds and butterflies.

Gloriosa superba plant picture
Full Plant

The leaves are entire, lanceolate, and sessile. They are alternate, glabrous, and acuminate. The lance-shaped leaves have tendrils at their tips. The bright green leaves have a length of 5-15 cm and a breadth of 3-5 cm. The leaf blade is strong and has parallel veins that lead to the tendril.

Gloriosa superba leaves

The semi-hard stemmed vines have tuberous roots that have cirrhosed tips to support them. The cylindrical tubers are fleshy and V-shaped, and one to four stems arise from it.

Gloriosa superba has large showy and bright flowers. The flowers appear between July and October. They are long-stalked, axillary, and bisexual. You have pale yellow shades as much as red, and some of them have a red colour with yellow borders. You find yellow flowers with stripes of mauve or purple.

flame lily flowers
Flame lily flowers

Some of the flowers are white. The length of the flowers ranges between 6 cm and 10 cm. They are 1-2.5 cm wide, and the pedicles are 20 cm or more in length. You find six of the 3-4 cm long stamens in each flower. They have an anther at the tips with large amounts of yellow pollen. This is the state flower of Tamil Nadu and the national flower of Zimbabwe.

Gloriosa superba flowers
Gloriosa superba flowers

The fruit is 6-12 cm long, oblong and large. Each valve contains 20 globose red-colored seeds.

The Flame Lily is a poisonous plant. It has toxic alkaloids such as colchicine. All parts of the plant are poisonous, but the tubers are the most poisonous. Human and animal fatalities occur due to the toxicity of the plant. Within hours of being ingested, the person experiences nausea, tingling in the mouth, abdominal pain, burning in the throat, bloody diarrhoea, and vomiting. This leads to dehydration.

Common name

The common name is fire lily. Other names are climbing lily, flame lily, and glory lily.

Botanical name or family

The botanical name is Gloriosa superba. It belongs to the Colchicaceae family.

Flame lily fruits

Geographical areas where Gloriosa superba plant grows

It grows profusely in Burma, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, India, and southern Africa. In India, you find it in Goa, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan. It grows in the coastal regions of Australia.

Gloriosa superba Medicinal use for curing diseases

You use Gloriosa superba for medicinal purposes. Among its various properties, the Flame Lily has these medicinal goals:


The drug prepared from the flower is useful for resisting poison. You can obviate the effects of the venom by using this Gloriosa superba.


It has good action on intestinal worms. If you suffer from a parasitic attack of worms, take the Flower Lilly medicine, and you will get relief.


Suggestions are that you can use this drug for treating acrid leucorrhoea cases. However, one must use caution.


You have a good way to treat gout with Gloria superba. The toxic nature of this natural product helps people suffering from gout to get relief from their symptoms.


You can induce an abortion if you want to. You use this in the first two months of pregnancy.


It helps you when you suffer from constipation to take a decoction of the leaves or the drug preparation. It will clear your bowels and give you relief.


The most important part of medicine is its ability to raise the heat of the body, so it absorbs the medicine.

Flame lily root


The bitter receptors in the tongue signal us to avoid plant toxins. Bitter medicine helps to tone up your digestive and nervous systems.


You see the doubling of chromosomes when you use Gloriosine. Gloriosine is extracted from Gloriosa superba and finds extensive use in agriculture besides medicinal research.


This means you prevent the regular recurrence of symptoms. Gloriosa superba is useful in this way.


This augments the health of the person. The preparation follows Ayurvedic norms and standards.

Colchicine shows mitosis inhibiting properties. This has led to the extensive use of the flower in the study of cell division. This leads to polyploidy that finds extensive use in the treatment of cancer.

The drug made from the Flame Lily is given to women undergoing labour for helping with labour pains. You can cure asthma naturally in children by applying a paste of the leaves to the forehead and neck. Incidentally, we use the juice of the leaves for tipping the poison arrows. It finds use to kill lice.

One can draw the sap from the tip of the leaf to cure skin eruptions and pimples. To get relief from scorpion stings and snake bites you can use the extract of the plant. We use the tuber for the treatment of cancers.

One can use it for colic, kidney problems, and typhus. You can treat acute gout as well as treat cases of infertility. When you have a respiratory or digestive disorder, you can this as a sedative.

Other uses include treatment for smallpox. This is due to its healing nature for skin disorders. You get relief from muscular sprains by applying this juice. People use it against nocturnal emission or wet dreams. It cures hemorrhoids and reduces the symptoms of the sexually transmitted diseases.

It finds a use for a wide range of ailments such as a backache, dysmenorrhea, and vulvodynia. The main indications for the use of Flame Lily preparation are inflammation, pain, and parasites. People use it to treat human ear parasites and alopecia areata.

It has wonderful muscle relaxing and antispasmodic properties. It gives relief for abdominal cramps and promotes the menstrual blood flow due to its property as an emmenagogue. To make it more effective, the Ayurvedic practitioners give it with coral calcium.

By applying the root powder on the scalp area, one can kill all the fungus and stimulate the growth of new hair. The oil of the Gloriosa superba helps treat the external abscess. One must drain the abscess to increase the efficiency of the treatment.


Though it has extensive use in religious ceremonies, rural women use it to commit suicide. At times, it finds use in homicides. It is strictly advised to take this herb only under the guidance of a doctor or an Ayurvedic expert.

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Anoop Sharma

About Anoop Sharma

Anoop Sharma is an IT professional, freelance health writer and creator of He is passionate about helping others learn about health issues and their natural remedies, yoga and healthy food.

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