Doryanthes excelsa

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Gymea Lily
GymeaLily1.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Doryanthaceae
Genus: Doryanthes
Species: D. excelsa
Binomial name
Doryanthes excelsa
Correa

Doryanthes excelsa, known as Gymea Lily, is a flowering plant indigenous to the coastal areas of New South Wales near Sydney.

The plant has sword-like leaves more than a meter long. It flowers in spring and summer, sending up a flower spike up to 6 m high, which at its apex bears a large cluster of bright red flowers, each 10 cm across.

The name "Gymea Lily" is derived from a local Eora dialect. Dory-anthes means spear-flower in Greek, and excelsa is Latin for exceptional. The Sydney suburbs of Gymea and Gymea Bay are named after the lily.

History[edit]

The genus Doryanthes was first described in 1802 by the Portuguese priest, statesman, philosopher and botanist José Francisco Correia de Serra (1750–1823), a close friend of Sir Joseph Banks. Doryanthes excelsa has also inspired the naming of Doryanthes, the journal of history and heritage for Southern Sydney founded by Dharawal historian Les Bursill.

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