Swamp lily

Crinum americanum L.

This lily is also called Crinum lily, Seven sisters, Southern swamp lily, String lily. Swamp lilies are erect plants that grow in small clumps. The leaves grow directly from the bulb and are 2–4 feet long and 2–3 inches wide. The flowerstem is about 1 inch in diameter, 2–3 feet tall, with 2–6 flowers forming a showy umber at the top. The fragrant flowers are white, sometimes marked with pink. The sepals are 3–4 inches long and 1/2 inch wide. They are joined at the base, forming a long tube, but curve backward at the end to form a ball-shaped blossom. The upper half of the stamen is purple, with purple anthers extending out from the blossom as the sepals curve backward.

Crinum americanum

I have a couple of these plants in my water garden and for the most part they just sit there most of the time. Once a year they bloom in mid summer and they make up for all the time swamp lilies just sat there. They are the prettiest  flowers in my water garden. If these plants bloomed all the time they would not be the special prize they are. When my swamp lilies bloom I’m up early just to see them. Once they bloom they fall over and from that stem they will start another bulb in the mud. If you keep them in pots like I do, they will soon bud out and start new plants that can easily take over the pot. They often will start out from the small holes on the bottom of the pot. They are easy to re pot but you can find yourselves with more than you want. From my research I found in some marsh and wetland areas they will become evasive and take over. For your water garden you can manage these plants before they get out of hand. They add to the general look of my pond when not in bloom and are not hard to keep. Fertilizer tabs in the spring will add to the blooming as it will to most water garden plants.

Comments are closed.