Roses & Friends

Crinum

Crinums are a lot like buried treasure!  At an average cost of $30 a bulb (some varieties go for $100), these are some pretty valuable bulbs.  First described in the 18th century by swedish crinumbotanist Carl Linnaeus, crinums are hardy bulbs related to the amaryllis. Equally at home in pots or in the ground they naturalize quite readily. Some locations have had the same cultivars growing in place for decades. I see them most in large drifts at cemeteries or abandoned homesites and bar ditches. Because of the shape they are often assumed to be "Easter lilies". 

Rarely found in commercial nurseries because they don't like to be transplanted, crinums typically flower in the late spring or early summer.  The lily shaped (trumpet) flowers are carried in clusters atop very tall, somewhat hollow stems with strap shaped leaves at the base and they do smell quite nice. The bulbs are about the size of a softball (some a bit smaller) and they re-produce so rapidly you'll be able to share "pups" with friends and family in a couple of years.  Remarkably tolerant of varying soil conditions and neglect, Crinums are my third favorite bulb after irises and daylilies.

You may have some trouble finding these beauties from a local supplier so try some of these online sources.  

Marcelle Sheppard - 50+ years of work and documentation with Crinums

www.marcellescrinums.com

www.tytyga.com

plantdelights.com

 

 

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