Paul's Favourites: Gymea Lily (Doryanthes excelsa)

The Australian native plant Gymea Lily (Doryanthes excelsa) is a striking addition to Brisbane gardens, with its architectural foliage and stunning red flower spike.  1 metre-long sword-like leaves create a strong focal point in the garden. Its’ red flower spike grows to 2-4 metres tall and is best suited to be view from an elevated position.

Birds also love the Gymea Lily (also known as a Flame Lily or Spear Lily) for its nectar and this plant will suit an Australiana-style garden as well as a modern/contemporary/achitctural-style landscape. As well as being a great feature plant, I love to see the Gymea Lily in mass plantings for maximum effect and good screening.

The Gymea Lily plant has taken the place of the New Zealand Flax which was very popular before the drought passed (but has since failed in the prevailing humid environment). Similar in form, the Doryanthes is drought-hardy and adapted to coastal Queensland’s humid climate.

The Gymea Lily illustrates the need to plant for the long-term climate affects in our region.  Contact me at SEED Landscape Design to recommend plantings for your landscape that will survive the short-term climate conditions and flourish in the long-term.

Images: Top: Janey Pugh Bottom: ras-a, inc. via Houzz

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