Information about plants & gardens for Brisbane & Qld
speciesOther Common Names: Spear lily, Gymea lily
Family: Doryanthaceae (formerly placed in Agavaceae)
These dramatic clumping plants with long, sword-like leaves up to 2m long are reminiscent of the agaves and Furcraea which are so popular now. Use as a native alternative to such accent plants in modern or tropical-style landscapes.
Although not rainforest plants, they have a dramatic form that would not look out of place in such a garden and they don't need a lot of water.
The spectacular flower spikes, when they appear, are a bonus. Grow in full sun to encourage flowering.
Doryanthes palmeri, Spear lily
This species is native to SE Qld and NNSW. The flower spike droops at the top. In Queensland, these should be sold with an official government tag (similar to staghorn fermns and grasstrees) to ensure they have been sourced in a way that doesn't threaten them in the wild. For more information, go to https://environment.des.qld.gov.au/licences-permits/plants-animals/protected-plants/
Doryanthes excelsa, Gymea Lily
This species has a more erect flower spike. It's native to NSW and more widely cultivated in gardens.
These plants were discussed in greater detail in the 03-09-2021 edition of Get Results Gardening. If you garden in Australia, especially the warmer regions that allow you to grow tropical and subtropical plants, you will find plenty of other useful information in this email publication. Find out how to get a free trial at calyx.com.au/getresultsgardening.html
Doryanthes in the Landscape
Click for larger images.
Various landscape installations (species uncertain)
The same plants photographed slightly more than 2 years apart.
Other Information Online
Doryanthes Pacific Bulb Society
Doryanthes palmeri W.Hill ex Benth. New South wales Flora Online
Spear lily Doryanthes palmeri Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, U.K.
Doryanthes palmeri at the "A View from Yallaroo" website, NSWPlant of the week - Doryanthes palmeri - Macquarie University
Spear-Lily Doryanthes palmeri. Online Manual of Subtropical Landscaping Plants, Palm Beach Community College, Florida
Doryanthes palmeri Australia National Botanic Gardens
Doryanthes palmeri "A View from Yallaroo", NSW
Doryanthes palmeri Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust, Sydney
Doryanthes palmeri W.Hill ex Benth. New South Wales Flora Online
The distribution, relative abundance and conservation status of Doryanthes palmeri (Doryanthaceae) in New South Wales Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust, Sydney (PDF)
Doryanthes palmeri, Spear Lily The Florez Nursery blog, NSW
Doryanthes palmeri Friends of St Kilda Botanical Gardens
Spear Lily - Doryanthes palmeri Michola Moss (blog)
Finally. Doryanthes palmeri has flowered. and Doryanthes palmeri revisited Couchy Creek, Springbrook plateau
Doryanthes excelsa Australian Native Plants Society (Australia)
Doryanthes excelsa Corrêa New South Wales Flora Online
Doryanthes excelsa Australia National Botanic Gardens
Doryanthes excelsa "A View from Yallaroo", NSW
Doryanthes excelsa Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust, Sydney
Doryanthes excelsa New South wales Flora Online
Micro-propagation of the Gymea Lily Rural Industries Research & Development Corporation
Quality Specifications for Gymea lily Rural Industries Research & Development Corporation