- Common Name(s):
- Cape Lily, Crinum lily, Spider Lily, Swamp Lily
- 'Bradley', 'Creole', 'Elizabeth Traub', 'Ellen Bosanquet'
- Perennial Bulbs, Poisonous Plants, Summer Bulbs
Crinums are great summer-flowering bulbs that have graced Southern landscapes for years. They lend a bit of nostalgia and add a delightful tropical touch to gardens. Their course, sword-like foliage is lustrous and statuesque, providing a pleasing contrast to finer-textured ornamentals. The flowers of the more common crinums resemble those of the Easter lily. Many choices are available, however, and the flowers range from bell shaped to spiderlike. Colors range from deep reds, pinks, and whites to bi-colors. The white form ‘Album’ and the wine-red ‘Rubra’ are choice garden plants.
This member of the amaryllis family is one of the more cold-hardy bulbs, and it can be safely planted in the eastern regions of our mountains. Those living in the far western regions of North Carolina can grow crinums in containers that can be brought inside for the winter. Plant crinums in April and continuing through late October. They thrive in sunny locations, provided the soil is moist, or in filtered shade. When looking for plants that grow well in woodland shade gardens, consider C. moorei.
Newly planted crinums need to settle in for a season or two before they begin blooming freely. They do not like to be disturbed. After the first flowering season, apply a high-phosphorus fertilizer in mid-May each year. Provide plenty of water during the bloom period if there is a drought. After 4 to 5 years, remove the offsets and replant to enlarge your collection or to share with a gardening friend.
This plant is moderately salt tolerant.
Wildlife Value: This plant is seldom damaged by deer.
- Late summer (August/September)
- Full sunlight to PM only sunlight
- 24-48 in.
- 12 in. apart, 1 bulb per sq. ft.
- 8 in. to base of the bulb
- Tunicated bulb
- Tender III- injured below 25 degrees F (2 degrees C)
- Store bulbs in slightly moist sand at 35-45 degrees F (2-7 degrees C); if grown indoors in a container, place in a bright, cool [55 degrees F, 13 degrees C) night temperature room
- Asia, Tropical America, Africa, southern USA
- Poison Part:
- Bulbs, all parts
- Poison Delivery Mode:
- Nausea, stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea
- Toxic Principle:
- CAUSES ONLY LOW TOXICITY IF EATEN.
- Found in:
- Houseplant or interiorscape; landscape in flower garden, lawn as cultivated herbaceous perennial
NCCES plant id: 809