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I had long lamented the loss of Pancratium maritimum, a Peruvian Native, purchased from Brecks, Spring Hill or one of those other mail order houses many decades ago under the auspices of a hardy "Peruvian Daffodil". That was before I was savvy enough to even think about what hardiness zones meant. It never made it through the first winter, so imagine how ecstatic I was when I discovered Hymenocallis caroliniana a hardy, native look alike.
Hymenocallis caroliniana is a native plant in the Amaryllis family. It's whispy, icy white flowers are really unusual, and they’re bound to bring traffic to a dead stop along the front of any light sun to full shade border. Average to moist soil is preferred.
Hymenocallis means "beautiful membrane" which refers to the corona that connects the stalks of the stamens for a portion of their length. Commonly known as the “Spider Lily” the 8”- 12”, attractive, almost succulent foliage, holds up well all the growing season. Flowering commences in mid to late Summer. Native from the Southeast to the midwest, I predict that it is at least zone 5 hardy if not zone 4.
Somewhat easy to grow from seed, it takes 3 - 5 years to reach flowering size. I recommend propagation from division as it takes only a year or two to flower and some plants set several new bulbs every year. We are currently trying to establish Hymenocallis caroliniana in Tissue Culture.
My friend Don Hackenberry of Appalachian Wildflower Nursery in Reedsville PA, wrote a great story about the genus Hymenocallis in Journal Volume 55-2 of the North American Rock Garden Society, and if you're interested, I can provide you with a reprint.
There's a very extensive database of plant information at: http://plants.usda.gov/plants/ it's our tax dollars at work, good work, finally.
Just the facts M'am:
Kingdom - Plantae
Phylum - Anthophytae
Class - Monocotolydonae
Subclass - Liliidae
Order - Liliales
Family - Amaryllidaceae
Genus - Hymenocallis
Species - caroliniana
Common name - "Spider Lily"
Synonyms - Hymenocallis occidentalis
Native of - Southeastern US (GA) to the Midwest (IN)
USDA Hardiness Zone - zone 5 at least, probably 4, maybe 3
Light preference - Full shade to part sun
Soil preference - Average
Moisture preference - Average to moist
Bloom time - Mid Spring - early Summer
Bloom color - White
Foliage - Medium green, almost succulent
Spread - 8" -18"
Height - 12" -24"
Landscape uses - Front of the woodland border
Medicinal uses - None that I have found
A complete set of back issues of "Glick Pick of the Week" is available for the asking. If you would like me to send them, or if you would like to, first see the list, send me an email. Also, if you're getting more than one copy of this weekly mailing, or would like to subscribe a friend, or for some crazy reason, to unsubscribe, let me know.
© 2001 Barry Glick and Sunshine Farm & Gardens
Copyright © Barry Glick 1996-2020. All Rights Reserved.
Barry Glick, Sunshine Farm and Gardens
696 Glicks Rd, Renick, WV 24966, USA
Phone: (304) 497-2208
Last modified February 24, 2009