Glory lily (Gloriosa superba)

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How does this weed affect you?

Glory lily can form dense understorey carpets in dune systems along the coast, competing strongly with native flora. They are widely-cultivated as garden plants around the world, including in Australia. Glory lily has subsequently become naturalised along parts of the Australian coast from north of Sydney to south-east Queensland.  

A native of Africa and Asia, glory lilies are grown commercially for a chemical compound, colchicine. In parts of India, they are considered threatened due to over-harvesting by the pharmaceutical trade.

Glory lily also compromises bitou bush (Chrysanthemoides monilifera ssp. rotundata) control programs because, once the bitou bush is removed, glory lily can form a dense understorey. Stem densities of at least 70 stems per square metre are not uncommon on removal of overstorey.

Toxicity

All parts of the glory lily, particularly the roots and rhizomes (even after cooking), are highly toxic if eaten and the weed has been responsible for the poisoning of both humans and livestock. The alkaloid present in the plant causes multiple physiological effects and can even cause death. In humans, symptoms include tingling and numbness of the lips, tongue and throat, nausea, vomiting, giddiness, respiratory distress and irregular heartbeat. The tubers are also a contact irritant causing numbness and tingling of the skin. 

What to do if poisoning occurs:

  • If the patient is unconscious, unresponsive or having difficulty breathing dial 000 or get to the emergency section of a hospital immediately.
  • If the patient is conscious and responsive call the Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26 or your doctor.
  • If going to a hospital take a piece of the plant for identification.

What does it look like?

Glory lily is a perennial herb with climbing stems up to 4 m long.

  • Leaves are shiny, green and hairless with 10–20 mm long tendrils at the tips which curl around supporting plants.
  • Flowers are 45–70 mm wide, yellow, orange and red, borne singly on spreading stalks which arise in leaf forks. Flowers appear to be upside down with the petals pointing upwards, while 40–70 mm long stamens point downwards. Flowers grow from October–May. The seed pod is shaped like a rugby ball 40–100 mm long and 10–20 mm wide.
  • Seeds are initially orange to red before drying to 4–5 mm diameter brown balls. Top growth diesoff in winter before re-shooting in the spring.

Propagation

Glory lily produces large numbers of seeds and rhizomes. Unfortunately, one of the main methods of spread is by the dumping of garden refuse in bushland.

Acknowledgements

Andrew Storrie, former weeds agronomist, NSW Agriculture

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Control

Dumping garden waste in bushland and allowing these garden plants to spread out of control in gardens close to natural bushland areas creates a major threat of further infestations. Effective management programs should aim at educating gardeners to use alternate species and also to safely dispose of garden refuse.

Herbicide options

WARNING - ALWAYS READ THE LABEL
Users of agricultural or veterinary chemical products must always read the label and any permit, before using the product, and strictly comply with the directions on the label and the conditions of any permit. Users are not absolved from compliance with the directions on the label or the conditions of the permit by reason of any statement made or not made in this information. To view permits or product labels go to the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority website www.apvma.gov.au

See Using herbicides for more information.


PERMIT 9907 Expires 31/03/2020
Glyphosate 360 g/L (Roundup®)
Rate: 1 part glyphosate to 50 parts water
Comments: Knapsack application
Withholding period: Nil.
Herbicide group: M, Inhibitors of EPSP synthase
Resistance risk: Moderate


PERMIT 9907 Expires 31/03/2020
Glyphosate 360 g/L (Roundup®)
Rate: 1 part glyphosate to 1.5 parts of water
Comments: Cut stump/ scrape stem application.
Withholding period: Nil.
Herbicide group: M, Inhibitors of EPSP synthase
Resistance risk: Moderate


PERMIT 9907 Expires 31/03/2020
Glyphosate 360 g/L with Metsulfuron-methyl 600 g/kg (Various products)
Rate: 200 mL glyphosate plus 1.5 g metsulfuron-methyl per 10 L of water
Comments: Knapsack application
Withholding period: Nil.
Herbicide group: M, Inhibitors of EPSP synthase
Resistance risk: Moderate


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Biosecurity duty

The content provided here is for information purposes only and is taken from the Biosecurity Act 2015 and its subordinate legislation, and the Regional Strategic Weed Management Plans (published by each Local Land Services region in NSW). It describes the state and regional priorities for weeds in New South Wales, Australia.

Area Duty
All of NSW General Biosecurity Duty
All plants are regulated with a general biosecurity duty to prevent, eliminate or minimise any biosecurity risk they may pose. Any person who deals with any plant, who knows (or ought to know) of any biosecurity risk, has a duty to ensure the risk is prevented, eliminated or minimised, so far as is reasonably practicable.
Greater Sydney Regional Recommended Measure*
The plant should be eradicated from the land and the land kept free of the plant. The plant should not be bought, sold, grown, carried or released into the environment. Notify local control authority if found.
Hunter
Exclusion zone: whole region except core infestation area of the MidCoast, Port Stephens, Newcastle and Lake Macquarie local government areas
Regional Recommended Measure*
Whole region: The plant should not be bought, sold, grown, carried or released into the environment. Notify local control authority if found. Land managers should mitigate the risk of the plant being introduced to their land. Exclusion zone: The plant should be eradicated from the land and the land kept free of the plant. Core infestation area: Land managers should mitigate spread from their land.
North Coast
Exclusion zone: whole region excluding the core infestation area of Kempsey Shire Council, Richmond Valley Council, Ballina Shire Council, Bellingen Shire Council, Clarence Valley Council, Coffs Harbour City Council, Lismore Council, Kyogle Council, Byron Shire Council and Tweed Shire Council.
Regional Recommended Measure*
Whole region: The plant or parts of the plant should not be traded, carried, grown or released into the environment. Exclusion zone: The plant should be eradicated from the land and the land kept free of the plant. Land managers should mitigate the risk of the plant being introduced to their land. Core infestation area: Land managers should reduce impacts from the plant on priority assets.
*To see the Regional Strategic Weeds Management Plans containing demonstrated outcomes that fulfill the general biosecurity duty for this weed click here

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Reviewed 2017