Flora of the Nilgiris

Family : Flora of Nilgiri Biosphere (Northern Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve)
Liliaceae

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Gloriosa superba L.

Leaf arrangement

Whorled, Opposite, Alternate

Leaf Type

Simple

Leaf Shape

Oblong, Lanceolate

Leaf Apex

Acuminate

Leaf Base

Chordate

Leaf Margin

Entire

Habit : A climbing herb.

Habitat and Distribution : Occasional, in the plains from the coast to 500(1000)m, climbing on hedges and in fire prone areas. Indian subcontinent.

Indigenous Information : When the plant is in bloom it is the season of eye infections, therefore its name.  Root of this plant mixed with other herbs is used as a good anti venom.

Other relevent information : This is an important medicinal plant, used as an antidote for snake poison, is in demand commercially. The tuber is poisonous, when consumed in high quantities. Colchicine is the important alkaloid extracted from the seed and used in modern medicine. It is also the state flower of Tamil Nadu.

Field Tips : Stem leafy. Leaf tip modified into tendrils. Difficult to locate the plant, conspicuous only during the monsoons especially when in flower.

 

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Names:

English : Glory Lily
Irula : Kannanopoo
Tamil : Kalaippaik kizhangu, Kannuvalik kodi
Hindi : Kalihari
Malayalam : Menthonni

Flower:

Solitary. At first green in colour, turning yellow to orange and scarlet to crimson. Flowering from August-October.

Fruit :

A capsule, ellipsoid-ovoid. Seeds many, globose, dorsally compressed, warty. Fruiting from November-December.

All from Flora of Nilgiri Biosphere (Northern Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve)
Liliaceae