Real World Gardener Gymea Lily is Plant of the Week

January 10th, 2016

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at  and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network.

The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition.


GYMEA LILY Doryanthes excelsa

Plant of the week this week has a few common names.
Common names are often confusing especially if plants have different names in different states.

Doryanthes is the sole genus in the flowering plant family Doryanthaceae. The genus consists of two species, D. excelsa and D. palmeri, both native to the coast of Eastern Australia.


But there’s no mistaking this plant once you see it, you’ll remember it no matter what name you choose to call it.
Let’s find out some more…I'm talking with Landscape Designer Jason Cornish

Doryanthes or even Dory’s is probably just as easy to remember as Gymea Lily.

Plants do best in deep soil and grows as a large clump with numerous sword-like fibrous leaves, to 1 m in length and up to 100 mm wide.  

Plants grow in a rosette form, only flowering after more than 7-10 years.

1-gymea%2Blily%2Bflower.jpgThe red, trumpet-like flowers each 100 mm across are held on a compact terminal head on a leafy flowering stem 2-4 m high. For this reason, and because they are surrounded by brown bracts, the flowers aren't that easily seen from the ground.

Did you know that honeyeaters love the nectar of the large flowers?
Besides that, Aboriginal people (in the Lake Macquarie district of NSW) used to roast the stems, after chopping the stem off when it was about 40cm high and as thick as a person's arm? 
They also roasted the roots which they made into a sort of cake to be eaten cold.
If you have any questions about Doryanthes, why not write in to


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