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Easter Lily Cardiocrinum

Other Common Name(s):

Other plants called Easter Lily:

Phonetic Spelling
kar-dee-oh-KRY-num
Description

Originally described in the 1830s as part of the Lillium family, it was later considered to be part of a separate genus. Differing from other varieties of the Lillium family, it has heart shaped leaves.  The genus goes back to these leaves, the Greek word kardia translating to heart, and krinon meaning lily.

There are currently three species of Cardiocrinum in cultivation.  They include Cardiocrinum giganteum, which is the most familiar of the species, and in recent years, Cardiocrinum cordatum and Cardiocrinum cathayanum have become more available for the landscape.

Given the common name, giant lily Cardiocrinum giganteum can reach a height of up to 9'.  It should be planted in rich humus soil.  It is intolerant of hot, sunny locations, where the leaves are susceptible to burn.  Its showy, creamy white flowers with a reddish-purple center give off a sweet scent.

Cardiocrinum cordatum is found in mountainous locations that are cool and moist.  

Cardiocrinum cathayanum have bronze to purple new foliage, that will age to a lime green.  

Some classify the Easter Lily is as being monocarpic, which is a plant that dies after flowering. However, like scores of similar plants, the stem will die back after flowering, but the basal plate and offset bulbs live on to flower again the next bloom season. 

Best grown in part sun, with moist, organically rich soil.  To promote the plants' growth, fertilizer can be added during the growing season.  Propagation by seed is typical.  Fresh seed have underdeveloped embryos which require going through a temperature cycle such as the seasons in order for the seed to develop, thereby being able to germinate.  Propagation by bulb offsets is also common.  Offsets can take several years to flower.   

Prefers well-drained but moisture-retentive soil.  Plant to a depth of 1", as the bulbs usually form at the soil surface.  Plant in the fall months.

Hardiness: Semi-hardy, injured below 28 degrees F (-2 degrees C)

Storage: Store bulbs in moist peat at 35 degrees F (2 degrees C)

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Snails and slugs are common visitors to this plant.  Locations with poor drainage can lead to bulb rot.  Mice sometimes chew on immature bulbs.  

Moving bulbs can stunt their growth.  

It has a resistance to Verticillium Wilt.

Flowering may not happen until the bulb has been in its location for up to 8 years.  

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bulb#showy flowers#deciduous#frost tender#shade garden#cottage garden#food source wildlife#rock garden#cutting garden#bird friendly#butterfly friendly#winter garden#bee friendly#wind damage prone#heavy shade tolerant#woodland garden#wet soils intolerant#broadleaf#showy#butterflies#butterfly#butterfly garden#pollinator garden
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bulb#showy flowers#deciduous#frost tender#shade garden#cottage garden#food source wildlife#rock garden#cutting garden#bird friendly#butterfly friendly#winter garden#bee friendly#wind damage prone#heavy shade tolerant#woodland garden#wet soils intolerant#broadleaf#showy#butterflies#butterfly#butterfly garden#pollinator garden
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Cardiocrinum
    Family:
    Liliaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Ornamental garden use.
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Russian Far East, China, Himalaya, and Japan
    Wildlife Value:
    Butterflies and bees are attracted to the flowers. Birds seek out the fruits.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Attracts Pollinators
    Easy to Grow
    Fragrance
    Shade
    Textural
    Wildlife Food Source
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Bulb
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    High
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil pH:
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Small red berries are present from summer through the fall. When left in the garden where snow is a seasonal happening, it can make an attractive picture.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Trumpet
    Tubular
    Flower Petals:
    6 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    > 6 inches
    Flower Description:
    The showy flowers will bloom in the summer, with 20 to 40 blooms per stalk.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Blue
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Rosulate
    Leaf Shape:
    Cordate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The leaves differ from other varieties of the lily family, they are heart shaped and may have attractive veins.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Round
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Description:
    It has thick, straight, sturdy stems. These hollow stems can be used to make flutes.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Cottage Garden
    Cutting Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rock Garden
    Shade Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Small groups
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Songbirds