Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Gloriosa superba (Flame Lily)

I grew these lantern-shaped climbing lilies from tubers that I bought from Chatuchak market last November. Normally, it takes anywhere up to 4 months for the seeds to germinate. The tubers took about half that time before shoots started to emerge. Still, it is a relatively fast grower and flowers quite readily given the right conditions. The flowering process lasts a few days, beginning first with the unfolding of its crinkly tepals. The colours of the tepals and stamens progresses from a dull yellowish green to brilliant hues of crimson and yellow before finally settling into a deep orange tone.

These lilies used to be rather common in Singapore, especially in the more rural areas. However, like many of the plants from our parents' and grand-parents' generation, they have become victims of Singapore's robust re-development program and are now considered rare. There must be some truth in this, for i've yet to see these plants in any gardens, parks or nurseries. It's little wonder I got all excited when I saw the tubers on sale at CTC. 

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