The Gymea Lily
A native plant that grows in woodland areas, Gymea lily or ‘Doryanthes excelsa’ are a spectacular Australian Native up to 4m tall with long, sword-like leaves individually 1m long surrounding a large flower head on a tall spike. Native to areas around Sydney they makes a fantastic feature in the garden. They can be successfully grown in pots or containers.
These wonderful plants do take some time to reach flowering size. When they mature they will flower from spring through to summer.
Care and Growing Notes
Doryanthes excelsa is a great plant for the back of the border or as a feature plant in a pot. With a flower stem 2m – 6m tall they do make a striking statement. Keep them well watered in spring, but well drained as well.
Doryanthes will grow to 5m making them an outstanding plant for the back of the native border. The flower spear of the rises high above the lower growing base foliage.
Although the plant is frost tolerant the flower spikes are not, and as these are produced during cooler periods if you are growing these in a frost prone area they will need protection.
As with all plants, if you are growing in a container make sure you do not over pot, if you do growth will be slow until the roots start to feel a little constricted, then you may get is to flower. So be prepared to start in a smallish container and ‘pot up’ as required.
- Growth rate will depend on soil and climate, however they can take 10 years plus to flowering size. Flower quality will be better in light shade than full sun.
- Pruning is not generally required, the foliage tends to stay fairly neat and upright. Once they have flowered, most gardeners tend not to prune away the old flower stalk for some time. They leave it o stand for many months as a bit os a statement.
- If you are looking at shifting a Gymea Lily, you will need to take as large a root ball as possible. The best time to do this is in the cooler months of the year. Once transplanted, water regularly through the first summer without letting the soil become soggy.
- Fertilising is recommended and a low phosphate fertiliser is best.
- Propagation is from seed, or by the removal of small offsets.
- One problem with Gymea Lilies is them not flowering. It seems sometimes they do and other times they don’t. A bit of folk law says that you can stimulate them into flowering by pushing a small stone down into the centre of the plant. It is said to work, so if yours is reluctant to flower, it may be worth a try.
Species and varieties
The lesser known Doryanthes palmerii or ‘Spear Lily’ is the Queensland spear lily with large red flowers during spring, a little more difficult in cooler conditions.
Gymea Lilies are available for sale form the following nurseries
Healthy, 100% Organic garden plants. Buy online, direct from grower. 100% satisfaction guarantee. Flat-rate postage QLD NSW VIC ACT SA & NT. Huge range of tropical & rare plants, fruit & edibles, trees, flowers, foliage & more.
470 Monbulk-Silvan Road Monbulk VIC 3793
"Guaranteed mail order flowering bulbs, perennials, roses, trees, landscaping plants, garden accessories and community fundraising Austra lia-wide."
GYMEA LILIES – Ph 02 4372 1187
918 Wisemans Ferry Rd Sommersby NSW 2250
Established Gymea Lilies. Sizes from 8″, 12″ upwards. Plants grown with limited use of chemical fertilizers
20 Swan Street, Lara, Vic. 3212 Contact: Ph/Fax: (03) 5282 8704
Mail Order and Retail NurseryCacti and succulents. Wide range of trees, palms, ferns, shrubs & perennials.