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All parts are poisonous if ingested.

Crinum and x Amarcrinum

Bulbs and bulblike plants, Perennials

Native to many warm and tropical parts of the world. Lush foliage and lily-like flowers of impressive size. Each bulb tapers to an elongated, stemlike neck, from which radiate long, broad, strap-shaped leaves. Evergreen in mild-winter climates if given year-round moisture. Thick stems to 4 ft. or taller rise from the foliage, each bearing a cluster of long-stalked flowers. Many are highly fragrant; colors include white and many shades of pink, from light to dark. Most bloom in spring or summer; flowering goes on all year in Hawaii.

Bulbs generally are available year-round, but spring and fall are the best times to plant. Amend soil with plenty of humus. These plants (especially Crinum x powellii and x Amarcrinum) are grown as houseplants in most areas; don’t let the soil dry out.

Crinum asiaticum (photo courtesy of Denver Botanic Gardens)
Crinum asiaticum (photo courtesy of Denver Botanic Gardens)

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Crinum asiaticum

From southeast Asia. Can form a mass 4–6 ft. tall and 7 ft. wide. Clusters of large, spidery-looking, fragrant white flowers, 6–8 in. across. Tolerant of poor soils, salt, drought, and light shade. C. a. procerum is an even larger plant. Its variety ‘Splendens’, with purple leaves and pink flowers, is called Queen Emma lily, as is C. augustum.

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