Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Doryanthes excelsa Correa

Frost-tender perennial with erect clusters of 100 or more curving, lance-shaped leaves and, in late summer, flowering stems to 5m bearing short, lance shaped leaves and dense, spherical racemes, to 70cm across, of tubular red flowers enclosed in leafy bracts.  To 6m.  [RHSE, Hortus, FNSW].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘This magnificent plant, of the liliaceous tribe, flowered last summer in the greenhouse of the Right Hon. Charles Long, at Bromley hill, in Kent; probably for the first time in Europe.’  [BM t.1685/1814]. 

‘Our plant, which we have had above twelve years, began to shoot up for flower in September 1821; the stem grew slowly till March 1823, when the blossoms opened, it being full twenty-five feet in height.’  [LBC no.765/1823].  Introduced to Britain in 1800.  [Baker].

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues [B.108/1843].  It grows in sandstone-derived soils from Karuah, north of Newcastle to Mount Keira in the Illawarra [FNSW] and could have been easily collected by William Macarthur.  Somewhat surprisingly this plant was received per ‘Sovereign’ February 1831.  [MP A2948].


Published Jan 06, 2010 - 10:12 AM | Last updated Jul 16, 2010 - 05:42 PM

Figured is the whole plant, large basal leaves and tall spike of red flowers.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.1685 B, 1814.

Doryanthes excelsa Correa | BM t.1685 B/1814 | BHL

Family Doryanthaceae
Region of origin

Eastern Australia

  • Furcraea australis Haw.
Common Name

Gymea lily, Australian giant lily, Globe spear lily

Name in the Camden Park Record

Doryanthes excelsea 

Confidence level high