Onward and Upward

These colorful summertime vines are eager, reliable, and beautiful.

By Marty Ross


Gloriosa Lily
Gloriosa superba 'Rothschildiana'

Gloriosa lilies steal the show in a small space. These well-mannered scramblers grow to only 6 feet tall and are a great choice for a trellis or obelisk in a pot. Gloriosa lilies are members of the lily family but grow from tubers (buy them in spring), not bulbs. The vines have glossy leaves with curious corkscrew tendrils at the tips, reaching for something to cling to. The flamboyant yellow-and-red flowers have slightly twisting, reflexed petals that make the blooms look like flickering flames.

Gloriosa lilies should be planted in well-drained soil in full sun. Plant three tubers on an obelisk for a great show. They are hardy to Zone 8; in warm climates, they will die to the ground in fall, and come back to bloom reliably for several years.