One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Any of several lilies of the genus Gloriosa (formerly Methonica), native to tropical regions of the Old World; especially G. superba, with a scrambling growth habit and flowers with long reflexed petals, typically orange or red and yellow (now rare).
2(Chiefly North American) the Turk's-cap lily of North America, Lilium superbum.
Mid 18th century; earliest use found in Philip Miller (1691–1771), horticulturist and writer.
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