Thursday, 23 December 2021


The Gymea lily Doryanthes excelsa is indigenous to the Sydney Basin and a truly iconic plant of the Australian bush. The botanic name, 'Doryanthes', derives from two Greek words - 'dory', meaning spear, and 'anthos', meaning flower and this refers to the beacon like flower heads that stand out in the bush.

They have big spectacular flower heads, and also clumps of luxurious green leaves that make a fabulous feature in the landscape. This plant is also known as flame lily, giant lily, giant spear lily, but most commonly it's known as the Gymea lily. It's an incredibly tough plant. It grows from an evergreen bulb which has contractile roots which pull the plant right down into the soil, where it can resist drought and bush fire - which triggers it to flower.

Gymea lilies are pretty tough plants, so they're hardy for dry conditions. They are a gross feeder and need fertilising. Use a slow release or complete soluble fertiliser.  Doryanthes grow well in coastal areas from Brisbane to Perth. They also grow in cooler climates, but be careful because the flower stems and leaves may be damaged by frost. Pests and diseases don't affect them either. They make excellent foliage plants in a large garden or big container, or plant them for the spectacular red flowers that will attract nectar feeding birds.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme

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