15 June 2010

Spider Lilies

The last couple of years I've been bugging my father-in-law to get me a few spider lilies (Hymenocallis caroliniana) whenever he goes kayaking. This was after he started bringing me plants that he had pulled up in the marsh. Being in a kayak, he couldn't exactly pull plants up by the roots, so most of the plants he got wouldn't survive. He got me a couple of cow lilies - the water lilies you see in farm ponds and in the wild - and they had roots, but I already had three water lilies at that point, so I really couldn't use it. When I told him that I would need the roots - bulb, tuber, etc, he decided he would take a shovel with him next time. That really wasn't realistic, and neither of us has mentioned spider lilies until recently.

One morning I when I was dropping Ella off at their house, he came out with a wilted spider lily to show me and said that he knew exactly where to find them now. I didn't think anymore about them until yesterday. That's when some lilies I had gotten in trade from a woman started blooming. I few bloomed last year, but I didn't remember exactly what they looked like. I had decided that they were a giant asiatic lily - Crinum asiaticum.

When the first one bloomed yesterday, I saw the distinct membrane connecting the narrow petals and I knew exactly what it was. I don't know if it's Hymenocalis caroliniana, but it's definitely in the same genus. The ones I have do well just planted in the yard, but obviously they can live in water as well.

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