Gloriosa superba otherwise called a flame lily or a fire lily is fatal to man and animals if consumed. The incredibly coloured flower reminded me of my favourite singer – Bob Marley when I first saw it in the wild. The whole flower is poisonous but the most poisonous part is the little bud below. If ingested the symptoms start with nausea and vomiting and eventually lead to death. The flower has been used by ancient tribes for suicides or murders. Woah!
It is found throughout the forests of India although the plant is a native of Africa. It is surprising to know that the plant has miraculous medicinal properties. It is used to induce labour, treat acne, kidney stones, STD, cancer, impotency, bruises, snake bites and much more.
The plant when in full bloom is indeed a treat to the eyes. I saw it first when I was touring Dharwad and lived on an organic farm on Dharwad outskirts. Mr Sanjeev, the owner of the farm introduced me to this beautiful flower!