spider lilly

Scott Ranger ranger at america.net
Thu Sep 7 08:20:13 EST 1995


Georgia has three species of spider lily:

   Shoals spider lily (Hymenocallis coronaria) and it grows in flowing 
water as the common name implies.  There is a wonderful spot for it on 
Flat Shoals Creek in Harris County.  In Alabama it's called the Cahaba 
Lily as it grows in the Cahaba River.  As you might guess, this spider 
lily won't do well unless it lives in shallow flowing water.  No amount of 
cajoling will help.  This is the federally protected species.

   Thick-leafed spider lily (Hymenocallis crassifolia) is our most common 
species, and it grows in an amazing variety of habitats. I've seen it 
survive in horrible rocky soil, but it by far prefers moist, rich soil, 
likes lots of sun but can survive in filtered sun.

   Hymenocallis occidentalis (no common name) is very similar to H. 
crassifolia, but the leaves are thinner, and it seems to adapt to more 
widely varying conditions than H. crassifolia as well.  It is fairly 
widespread in eastern AL and western GA, nearly always in rich soil.

   Talking to folks that seem to know say that transplanting and keeping 
healthy plants of these species is very difficult and that they usually 
begin to decline after the first couple of years.

   Please don't try to grow H. coronaria.  It's protected, and it's very 
unlikely you'll have the right conditions.




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