Gloriosa superba, commonly known as the flame lily, is a cormous, climbing plant, well known for its very attractive flowers. Climbing is facilitated by tendrils that grow from the leaf tips.
In South Africa G. superba is found in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. It also grows in the Limpopo and some neighbouring countries, including Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Mozambique, Botswana and Namibia. The plant tends to ramble among other plants in semi-shade of scrub and in coastal bush. It is dormant in the dry winters of its summer rainfall habitat.
G. superba is the national flower of Zimbabwe where it is protected. It is also recognized as a symbol in certain parts of India. The plant has a variety of traditional medicinal uses. It is grown commercially as a garden subject and for certain chemical substances. The seeds are sometimes used as beads.
All parts of the plant are highly poisonous, containing a substance called colchicine (Manning, 2009; www.plantzafrica.com; Wikipedia).