Whether you come across the flamboyant version in cerise with saffron yellow, or the orange version with pale yellow edges, Gloriosa is always sensational.
Like a frozen butterfly
It’s a stunning sight: Gloriosa combines a delicate fresh green stem with elegant chartreuse yellow stamens that dance at the bottom (!). Above that grow six undulating flaming petals which open out for you like a frozen butterfly during the flowering. In other words, design by nature when nature was having a particularly good day. There are two types: short with a bare stem, and a bit taller with leaves and branches. Beautiful in bouquets, but equally lovely in small vases and tumblers scattered around your home.
The Gloriosa is a botanical oddball: a tuber that develops into a spectacular climber. It pulls itself up with small loops at the tips of the leaves, which constantly scramble upwards like hands on a ladder. That’s why the Gloriosa's flowers represent ambition and success: the ideal gift for someone starting a new job or experiencing a new beginning in some other way.
In the wild, Gloriosa - a cousin of the lily family - clambers upwards in India and southern Africa. The official name is Gloriosa rothschildiana, named after zoologist Lionel Rothschild. The flower is also called the glory lily, with ‘superba’ as its second name. And that’s a well-deserved title.