The fire lily is the object of some fascinating legends. In Switzerland, for example, people believed that the
flower attracted lightening if kept indoors. The bulbs, however, were associated with positive attributes. People took handfuls of the tiny
bulbils growing in the leaf axils to stuff underneath brooding hens to ensure that the eggs would hatch successfully. And if carried by a man or woman,
the bulbils were said to attract the opposite sex. Finally, the fire lily bulbs were a good substitute for coffee.
As for the petals, they were used to produce an orange-red pigment for painting as well as a beauty elixir reputed to prevent freckles.