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Flame lily (Gloriosa superba)

Sunsang or flame lily (Gloriosa superba) is a species of plant in the Colchicaceae, an annual shrub, grows to climb using leaf tip tendrils, fleshy stems up to 4 meters long, widely used as an ornamental plant due to its bright flower color and distinctive shape.

G. superba grows with gnarled rhizomes and climbs using leaf tendrils. Leaves alternate, lanceolate with outstretched tips, 13-20 cm long, thick, a bone in the center that forms a trench, smooth surface, flat margins and green in color.

Dlium Flame lily (Gloriosa superba)


Wavy flower tent, red top and greenish yellow base, has six corrugated tents and is 5-7.6 cm each. The fruit is capsule-shaped and fleshy, 6-12 cm long and contains red seeds. Butterflies and birds usually do pollination.

All parts of the plant contain colchicine where the leaves and tubers are about 0.1-0.8%, while the seeds are around 1.32%. Colchicine is a toxic and carcinogenic alkaloid compound that is soluble in water, alcohol and chloroform.

Colchicine has been used effectively in the treatment of acute gout, intestinal worms, bruises, infertility and skin problems. It has also been used to remove thorns, nails, skin parasites, antidotes for snake bites, laxatives and abortions.

Flame lily also contains the alkaloid gloriosin which will cause nausea, vomiting, numbness and tingling around the mouth, burning in the throat, stomach pain and bloody diarrhea that can lead to dehydration and death. Long-term effects include prolonged peeling of the skin and vaginal bleeding.







Colchicine alkaloids are useful in the treatment of chronic ulcers, arthritis, cholera, stomach pain, kidney problems, and typhus. Colchicine is widely used as an experimental tool in cell division studies to inhibit mitosis, induce polyploidy and treat cancer.

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Tracheophyta
Subphylum: Angiospermae
Class: Liliopsida
Order: Liliales
Family: Colchicaceae
Genus: Gloriosa
Species: Gloriosa superba

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