|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Crinum (Greek name for a lily). Amaryllidaceae. Large and showy flowering bulbs, mostly tender, closely allied to Amaryllis and distinguished by the longer perianth-tube; flowers usually white or in shades of red; largely summer bloomers, but differing widely in this respect.
Stems arising from a tunicated bulb with a more or less elongated neck: Lvs. mostly persistent, usually broad, sometimes several feet long: fls. few or many in a 2-bracted umbel, often very fragrant and with 3 types of coloring, pure white, banded red or purplish down the center, or flushed with the same colors; perianth salver- form or funnel-shaped, the tube straight or curved, long-cylindrical; seems, linear, lanceolate or oblong, nearly or quite equal; stamens 6, attached on the throat of the corolla, with long filiform filaments and very narrow versatile anthers; ovary Swelled, the ovules few in each cell, the style long and filiform, somewhat bent downward, the stigma not lobed: fr. a roundish or irregular cap., at length dehiscing; seeds large, green, thick.—Probably 100 species in warm and tropical regions around the world, in moist or wet places. The crinums are amaryllis-like plants of great beauty. They are widely grown, often under the name of "lilies," some of them as warmhouse plants, some as coolhouse subjects, and a few as hardy border plants. The bulbs are often very large, sometimes as much as 2 or 3 feet long, neck and all, the leek-like neck gradually tapering from the bulb proper. In some species the bulb is short and onion-like. Fig. 1108 shows forms of crinum bulbs. In some species the flowers are 1 foot long and half as broad; and sometimes the leaves reach the length of 6 feet and a width of 5 or 6 inches. The flower-stalk is solid, leafless, usually arising from the side of the bulb-neck. The genus might be roughly divided into the evergreen kinds, mostly with leek-like bulbs and symmetrical star-like straight-tubed usually erect flowers; and the deciduous-leaved kinds, mostly with roundish bulbs and nodding bell-shaped more or less irregular flowers.
The crinums require so much room that they are not often seen in commercial collections in this country. They are particularly adapted to mild and warm climates, and therefore full notes on such handling of them are given here. They are not much grown in American greenhouses. The species cross freely, and many fine hybrids are known, some of them under Latin species-names.
The species of Crinum require widely different culture, and their geographical distribution furnishes an important clue as to the degree of warmth required. There are two species hardy m the northern states, C. longifolium and C. Moorei, the latter being less reliable than the former but with finer flowers. These two species differ from others in blooming all summer instead of during a short period, and in the more lasting qualities of their flowers. An interesting hybrid between the two, C. Powellii, is hardier than C. Moorei, and the flower, though better than C. longifolium, is not quite so showy as that of C. Moorei. The hybrid has three well-marked colors, white, rosy and purplish. A single bulb of the white variety has given fifty flowering bulbs in four years. It is excellent for placing in conspicuous positions on terraces or lawns, or in corners where flowers are wanted to combine with architecture or statuary for summer effect. The Agapanthus is frequently grown also for such purposes. Of course large specimens are needed for this use, but they are easily secured and they last from year to year. The bulbs of crinums are mostly grown in Holland and in Florida. The only native species, C. americanum. the "swamp lily of Florida," makes a brilliant and striking spectacle when seen in places far from cultivation, as in the Everglades.
The most reliable of the hardy crinums in the North is probably C. Powellii. If the bulbs are planted 2½ to 3 feet deep (to the bottom of the bulb) in well- drained soil, the plant stands without protection in the neighborhood of New York City. Let them stand 2 to 3 feet apart. This crinum makes a very ornamental summer plant, even the strong foliage producing a tropical effect. It produces offsets very freely, but they are deep in the ground. It seems not to produce seed in the North. C. longifolium is also hardy, but is better with a covering in winter; and it is inferior to C. Powellii in leaf and flower. C. Moorei is equally hardy except that the bulbs grow near the surface and are therefore so much exposed as often to be ruined by frost. It is a very desirable summer species. It often seeds in the latitude of New York City; and these fleshy seeds germinate readily if placed on the surface of moist soil. It produces offsets freely, which are used in propagation. It has very strong fleshy roots; and when grown in pots or tubs (which is a desirable practice) it should be given plenty of room. This species has a long columnar neck with a spreading cap or crown of leaves, and large white or pink flowers. C. variabile (C. capense) is hardy south of the Ohio. There are a number of half-hardy species; and most of the greenhouse kinds make very desirable lawn or porch plants when well established in large pots or tubs.
There are more than fifty species of greenhouse crinums, all of them worth growing because of their handsome flowers; some of them have very ornamental foliage. Most of the species are seldom seen in this country, possibly because they occupy too much space and give a comparatively small number of flowers to recompense the grower for their upkeep. It/ is not necessary to keep the evergreen species growing all the time after the flowers have been produced. The plants may be put out-of-doors under a lath-house for four or five months. The soil should be of a lasting nature with good drainage so that frequent repotting will not be necessary. When the plants are in a growing state, frequent applications of manure water will be found to be beneficial. In the warmer parts of the country, many of the tropical species should be plunged or planted out in the open border, where they often give a satisfactory quantity of flowers. In winter, the plants may be carried over under the bench of a temperate house. They should be given water occasionally during April and the first half of May to encourage new root-growth. When planted out in rich soil, nearly all of them will produce their gorgeous flowers out-of-doors; and during winter they are best treated as dormant bulbs with a little more heat than given such plants as cannas and richardias, planting them out as soon as the weather is favorable. A few of the tropical crinums are grown for their foliage principally, and are often seen in public conservatories and palm- houses where they suffer but little from dense shade. The flowers of most species are exceedingly handsome but only for a comparatively short time; during the remainder of the year when out of bloom there are hosts of things that are much more ornamental. Tropical crinums should be grown in this country nearly altogether for outdoor work; we then get the best out of them because our hot summers are favorable to their growth and for the production of bloom. Those species not amenable to this treatment do not give results at all in keeping with the space and time devoted to them. (G. W. Oliver.)
Crinums in Florida and the South.
The various species of Crinum belong to the most important, the most beautiful and the most popular of Florida garden plants. No plants grow so easily, with so little attention, and no plants are so floriferous and so deliciously fragrant. Some of the species, as C. zeylanicum, C. erubescens and C. Sanderianum, are so common in gardens, that they are little appreciated by people in general. Planted together in masses or in borders and in front of shrubbery, they look extremely beautiful. They grow best in rich, somewhat moist soil, but they are also perfectly at home in the high pineland ridges when well fertilized and cultivated. There is great confusion in the nomenclature of these plants, scarcely half a dozen being correctly named in the various catalogues. CH
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|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
C. abyssinicum has white flowers and is attractive, but it does cot grow well in the sandy soils of Florida.CH
C. amabile. Very much like C. augustum in growth and the flowers also much the same, but it is considerably smaller and multiplies rapidly by offsets. Every three or four years it must be replanted in fresh rich ground, and the offsets must then be removed. It is a very beautiful plant, and much more floriferus than the C. augustum, flowering in every month of the year. The perfume of the masses of flowers in spring and summer is so strong that it pervades the entire garden. It does not bear seeds in Florida, but the pollen is fertile and can be used in cross-breeding.CH
C. americanum. Common along muddy banks of lakes and rivers. A very beautiful pure white, intensely fragrant species and very valuable in hybridizing work. Flower-stem usually 3 feet high, bearing mostly four Sowers. Grows well in gardens, particularly in rich moist soil.CH
C. amaenum. A rather small-growing Asiatic species with long slender bulbs and white flowers tinged red on the outside. Rare.CH
C. asiaticum. The columnar stem-like bulb, about 12 to 15 inches long, grows mostly above the ground. In planting it should never be set deep in the ground; a few inches is sufficient. The leaves are arranged in a rosette. They are about 3 feet long, very broad near the bulb, gradually narrowing to a sharp point at the end. The color is light bluish green. Flowers almost all the year round, even in winter when the weather is warm, usually 20 flowers in an umbel being borne always a little above the foliage on a strong stem. The flowers are pure white, with linear narrow segments; filaments and stigma purplish red, yellowish white in the lower third. Strangely and deliciously fragrant. A real gem among our garden flowers. Hardy all over the Gulf Coast region, where it forms in time large and impressive clumps of tropical foliage. Bears large pea-green fleshy seeds abundantly. Excellent for raising hybrids.CH
C. augustum. "Great Mogul" of Barbados. The largest-growing of all our crinums, specimens 4 feet high and 6 to 8 feet in diameter being not uncommon. It needs rich moist soil and a fair amount of good fertilizer. Leaves are very broad, 4 to 5 feet long, narrowing gradually to a sharp point, deeply channeled. It blooms continually for months. Flower-stem an inch in diameter, purplish- red, 4 feet high, bearing a large umbel of glossy purplish crimson flower-buds which are pink inside after opening. Nearly twenty flowers to each umbel, giving a large mass of very beautiful and deliciously fragrant blossoms. This umbel is so large and heavy that it soon bends over and finally lies on the ground. For this reason, it is necessary to tie it to a strong bamboo stake. It is difficult to propagate, as offsets are formed slowly. A plant five years old has formed only two side shoots. Although it affords good pollen for hybridizing purposes, it does not seed. Hardy in New Orleans.CH
C. campanulatum (C. caffrum). Very distinct, with beautiful glaucous green leaves and umbels of six to eight rosy red campanulate flowers. The flowers are much recurved at their edges. it blooms several times each year. One plant, although eighteen years old, never made a side-shoot. It grows wild in ponds in southern Africa and very likely needs moist soil.CH
C. Careyanum (offered in the trade as C. virgineum which is really a white-flowering species from Brazil). It also goes under the name of C. grandum. This is a doubtful plant, being perhaps an old English hybrid. It is very distinct from all other crinums, very beautiful and deliciously fragrant and a night-bloomer. Flower- stem 3 feet high, with an umbel of six to eight pure white flowers with a faint red band in the center. The buds are reddish and the stem is purplish grayish green. Bears no seed.CH
C. caribeum. Reminds one of C. americanum, but flower-stem grayish purple on a green ground. Flowers pure white, very fragrant. Rare.CH
C. crassipes. Bulbs conical, very large, 8 to 10 inches in diameter. Forms offsets tardily, if at all. Flower-stem short. Flowers fifteen to twenty in an umbel, white, bell-shaped, faintly keeled with pink.CH
C. crubescens (usually advertised as C. fimbriatulum). One of the most common species in Florida gardens. Increases rapidly by offsets. Leaves long, thin and narrow, 2 to 3 feet long: flower- stem 2 to 3 feet tall, purplish green, carrying usually four to six very beautiful fragrant flowers, pure white with a faint pink keel, outside purplish red. Does not bear seeds, and pollen, and is useless for cross-breeding. Found everywhere in gardens.
C. fimbriatulum. Extremely rare, and not in the trade. Flowers pure white, with a soft red band in the center of each petal. One plant formed only five offsets in the course of eight years.CH
C. giganteum. Perhaps the most beautiful species, the leaves being as ornamental as an aspidistra or a dracena. Evergreen like C. pedunculatum, C. amabile, C. augustum, and C. asiaticum. The leaves are about 3 feet long, rich deep green with a slight bluish tint. It forms large clumps in the course of a few years. Flowers six to eight in an umbel, bell-shaped, creamy white in the bud, pure white when fully expanded, exhaling a very strong vanilla- like perfume. They appear six or eight tunes during the year, even in winter when the weather is warm. Needs rich moist soil and does not thrive satisfactorily on high dry Laid. An excellent species for hybridization.CH
C. imbricatum. Allied to C. giganteum, but bulbs much larger and leaves rather glaucous green, strongly nerved, with serrated edges. Flowers similar, but creamy white. Flowers usually two or three times during the year. This is as beautiful as C. giganteum, but it does not form such large clumps in the course of a few years. Seeds freely.
C. Kunthianum. A large-growing species, with a fine rosette of bright green spreading leaves and large umbels of pure white flowers. Its variety nicaraguense is a still larger-growing plant. The flower-stem is quite short, about a foot high, bearing five or six very large white flowers with a faint pink band in the center, purplish on the outside. The flowers of both are strongly fragrant.CH
C. longifolium. An excellent plant for hybridizing. The leaves are glaucous green, flowers eight to twelve in an umbel, pink, flushed with deeper red on the outside. A fine foliage plant, though flowers not very showy. The white variety, C. longifolium album, with very beautiful pure white bell-shaped flowers, is a very showy plant and much superior to the type.CH
C. Macowanii. Forms very large bulbs with long slender necks. A beautiful species with pink flowers, but very difficult to grow in light soils. It does not flower regularly each year.CH
C. Moorei. Bulb very large, 6 to 8 inches in diameter, with a very long slender, stem-like neck about 10 to 12 inches long. The leaves are very beautiful, long and thin and very wavy. It usually flowers in March in central Florida. Flowers four to ten in an umbel, bell- shaped, rosy or pinkish red and deliciously fragrant. There is a beautiful white form of this extremely beautiful species. Var. Sckmidtii, which usually flowers also in March or April. Both kinds bear seeds if hand-poll in a ted with their own pollen or crossed with different other species. This crinum will not thrive well in the light sandy soils. It requires a heavier soil with some clay in it, and it grows well only in a lath-house.CH
C. pedunculatum. Very rare in Florida gardens. Reminds one of C. tuiaticum, but the bulb is shorter, more massive and the leaves thinner and of u brighter green. Flowers twenty to twenty- five in an umbel, pure white and strongly fragrant. This plant needs rich mucky soil to do it a best. It does not thrive on dry ground. It is a much shyer bloomer than C. asiaticum, with which it is often confounded.CH
C. podophyllum. This is another evergreen species, almost a miniature C. imbricatum. Leaves glaucuous green, strongly nerved, with serrated edges. Bulb only a few inches in diameter and very short. Flower-stem about 10 inches high bearing only a few pure white strongly fragrant flowers. Flowers only once during the summer.CH
C. pratense. Bulb 5 to 6 inches in diameter. Flowers white. Requires moist rich soil. Rare.CH
C. purpurascens. This small species, with linear undulated leaves about a foot long, forms large clumps in rich moist soil* thriving with caladiums, marantas, ferns, and other shade-loving plants. Flowers five to six in an umbel, slightly red in bud and pink when expanded. Flower-stem purplish, only about 6 to 8 inches high.CH
C. Sanderianum (Milk-and-Wine Lily). Common in Florida gardens. Flowers white, keeled with bright red, deeper red on the outside. Flower-stems 3 feet high, carrying five or six flowers in the umbel. Bears no seed.CH
C. scabrum. One of the showiest. Flowers large, amaryllis- like, pure white, banded crimson, reminding one of Hippeastrum vittatum. Very fragrant, but flowers of short duration. Flowers three or four times during spring and summer. Bears seed abundantly and can be easily cross-fertilized with other species. Grows well on high dry pine land, but, like all crinums, requires rich soil.CH
C. variabile. When in bloom, this is the showiest of all the species. Bulbs very large, conical. Flower-umbels consist of fifteen to twenty large pure white bell-shaped flowers, being borne well above the foliage, standing upright. The flowers are faintly striped with pink. Three or four stems are usually pushed up at the same time from one large bulb, and beds consisting of twenty- five or fifty bulbs are a magnificent sight, as almost all the buds open at the same time. This crinum is strictly a night-bloomer, the flowers begin ing to open in the dusk of evening, remaining in perfect condition until sunrise. A clump or a bed of this species in full bloom during a moonlight night has a wonderful effect. It looks particularly beautiful under palms. This species is hardy as far north as southern Missouri and Kentucky, with a little protection in the form of stable manure or dry leaves. It has been received under the names C. Kirkii, C. ornatum and C. Itiiifolium. Does not bear seeds.CH
C. yemense. Flowers pure white, bell-shaped and somewhat fragrant. Bears seeds. Excellent for cross-breeding purposes.CH
C. zeylanicum (often sold as C. Kirkii). Perhaps the most common of all the crinums, being found in almost every garden, even in the backwoods. The flowers which are intensely fragrant are borne on tall purplish stems. They are deep crimson in the bud state, white with a red stripe, when fully expanded. They usually Sower in June and July after the rainy season has set in. Bears large grayish green fleshy seeds abundantly and is a fine plant to be used in hybridizing.CH
Crinums hybridize so freely, and the progeny is so likely to be interesting, that many mongrel forms have been recorded under Latin names. It is not feasible to account for all such names here. Many of the forms are soon lost.
- C. Lugardae, N. E. Br. Bulb small: Lvs .long and narrow, rough-edged; fls.2-6, the peduncle1ft. or less high; tube nearly or quite 4in.long;segms.lanceolate, about or nearly as long as tube, white with light pink median stripe. Trop. Afr.CH
- C. natans. Baker. Allied to C. purpurascens, but aquatic, the 20 or so strap-shaped undulate Lvs. submerged: bulb small, narrow-ovoid, with many long fibrous roots: fls. few, white, the narrow segms. recurved. Upper Guinea. B.M. 7862.CH
- C. rhodanthum, Baker. Lvs. lorate, exceeding 1 ft., thick, ciliate- edged: fls. many; tube 3 in. long; segms. red, lanceolate, 2½ in. long, erect-spreading and curved in upper part; stamens as long as segms., the filaments red. Cent. Afr. G.C. III. 33:315. CH
- C. Samuelii, Worsley. Bulb 3 in. diam. and 2½ in. long: Lvs. sometimes 4 ft. long, rough-edged: fls. 2, sessile, on peduncle 1 ft. high, white slightly flushed with pink, not fragrant, 4½. in. across. Cent. Afr.CH
- C. Vassei, Boiss. Bulb ovoid, 4 in. across, without distinct neck: Lvs. linear-lorate, 2 ft. or less long, 2 in. broad, rough-edged: fls. about 15, on peduncle I ft. or less high, white with red median stripes; perianth funnel-shaped, 8 in. long, the tube curved and red, the segms. linear-lanceolate, and a little shorter than tube. Mozambique. R.H. 1908: 132.CH
- C. Wimbushii, Worsley. Differs from C. Samuelii in lvs. not rough-edged, fls. on short pedicels, faintly fragrant, less lasting and with longer style. Cent. Afr.CH
- C. Zanzibarense, Hort.= (?)CH
- Partial listwp
- Crinum abyssinicum
- Crinum acaule
- Crinum amabile
- Crinum americanum (Southern Swamplily, Seven Sisters)
- Crinum amoenum
- Crinum angustifolium
- Crinum asiaticum (Poisonbulb)
- Crinum augustum
- Crinum baumii Harms
- Crinum bulbispermum (Hardy Swamplily)
- Crinum buphanoides Welw. ex Baker
- Crinum calamistratum
- Crinum campanulatum
- Crinum carolo-schmidtii
- Crinum crassicaule Baker
- Crinum defixum
- Crinum delagoense
- Crinum erubescens
- Crinum fimbriatulum
- Crinum firmifolium
- Crinum flaccidum Herb.
- Crinum graminicola
- Crinum jagus
- Crinum latifolium
- Crinum lineare
- Crinum lugardiae
- Crinum macowanii Baker
- Crinum mauritianum
- Crinum minimum Milne-Redh.
- Crinum moorei (Natal Lily, Moore's Crinum)
- Crinum natans
- Crinum oliganthum
- Crinum ornatum
- Crinum pacificum
- Crinum pedunculatum (Swamplily, River Lily or Spider Lily)
- Crinum × powellii Baker (probably a hybrid of C. bulbispermum and C. moorei)
- Crinum procerum (Splendens)
- Crinum purpurascens
- Crinum subcernuum
- Crinum variabile
- Crinum yemense
- Crinum thaianum (Onion plant)
- Crinum xanthophyllum (Golden Spider Lily)
- Crinum zeylanicum L.
- Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, by L. H. Bailey, MacMillan Co., 1963