Sunday, March 14, 2010

Spear Lily - Doryanthes palmeri

Flowering in September.

Seed pods in January.

Seed capsules splitting in February.

I was first attracted to Spear Lily Doryanthes palmeri, by its vivid green sculptural foliage that forms very large clumps of 2 to 3 metre long pointed leaves. In September the plants have a spectacular display of arching flower spikes up to 4 metres with upward cupped groupings of scarlet red flowers which look just spectacular. By January pollinated flowers had formed large swollen pods that began splitting in February to reveal seed.
Doryanthes palmeri is native to South-east Queensland and North-east New South Wales, found in areas of the ranges along peaks and cliffs.


  1. It surely is a striking specimen.

    I've actually wanted to grow this plant ever since I saw a photograph of it. I recently noticed that San Marcos Growers, has a listing for it in their plant information section. I can only hope this means they're going to offer it. To my mind, they produce the most interesting material that any wholesale grower in the USA does. Their plants come from all around the world including SW N America, Australia, New Zealand, and South America, and while they are targeted principally for California nurseries, they have found their way across the country. So....I can hope to grow the Spear Lily in Florida within a few years!

  2. Very strong forms in all the plant parts especially the flowers. I can imagine them being made into clay or metal sculptures, thanks for the inspiration Nicola.

  3. Hi Chris, I hope you get to grow a spear lily, such a striking plant.

  4. Hi Novi, Yes it is very sculptural in form, thanks.