Hymenocallis (Spider Lily)
The Hymenocallis/spider lily is named from the Greek word hymen, which means membrane, and callos, which means beauty. This name refers to the thin membrane connecting the filaments of the flower. This is a large spectacular flower that is exciting to find unexpectedly. The genus Hymenocallis is native to the New World, occurring from the lower Mississippi Valley and Southern United States through Central America and the Carribean. The flowers of Hymenocallis are white, with a pronounced staminal cup and narrow tepal segments (petals and sepals).
Facts About Hymenocallis
- The species of Hymenocallis are some of the most difficult to identify from herbarium specimens. Like many other amaryllids, Hymenocallis species contain various alkaloids. It is not recommended that plant parts be eaten or even touched by allergic patients.
- The spider lily is a producer, transforming the sun's energy into food energy. It is part of a wetland system that aids in trapping sediment and filtering water.
- The Hymenocallis bulb is poisonous. Bulbs are poisonous if eaten, symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
- The spider lily makes a beautiful landscaping plant.
- Hymenocallis plants are more common in swampy areas of Georgia, Alabama, and Arkansas, but range extends up the river valleys into southern Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana.
- Shinners Spring Spiderlily, perhaps better known as Texan Spider Lily with scientific name Hymenocallis liriosme flower has a distinct yellow center. Alligator Lily (Hymenocallis palmeri) is found in southern Florida and has a yellow center.
- The Hymenocallis plant needs high humidity.
- The Hymenocallis plant needs average to moist soil.
- The Hymenocallis plant needs full to partial sun.
- The Hymenocallis plant grows upto 12-24 inches tall.
- Plant depth 5 inches.
- Hymenocallis are excelllent cut flowers.
Hymenocallis plant care
- They do very well grown in pots and containers, if the soil is kept moist and fed monthly with a slow-release fertilizer from spring to fall
- Do not move the plants outdoors until night temperatures average above 60F.
- When frost threatens in the fall, dig up the bulbs carefully leaving soil around the roots and put them in a well-ventilated shady place on their sides until the leaves wither.
- Cut off the leaves and store the bulbs upside down over winter in dry peat moss or vermiculite at 60-70F.