Crinum is a genus of more than 100 species of perennial plants in the family Amaryllidaceae, native to Africa, Southern Asia, Australia and warmer parts of the Americas.
These plants can be found in moist environments in tropical and subtropical areas worldwide. They lend a tropical touch with their beautiful flowers throughout the year, but usually in the warmer months. The flowers are usually large and fragrant, ranging in shape from funnel-shaped to spider-like. They are borne in umbels atop leafless stalks and are either held horizontally or are pendulous. Crinums are easy to grow and are great for beds, borders and cutting gardens.
The genus name comes from the Greek “krinon”, meaning “white lily”, as most species have white or whitish flowers.
The common name “Swamp Lily” comes from the fact that this plant is frequently found growing in swamps.
Crinum symbolizes beauty, tenderness and kindness.
Interesting facts about Crinum
Benefits and Uses
These plants have been used traditionally to treat various diseases such as allergic disorders, skin infections, urinary problems, haemorrhoids, gonorrhoea, rheumatism, fever and headache.
The juice of the bulb has emetic properties, while the juice from the leaves is applied to cuts and wounds.
They have also been used as a laxative or purgative.
Crinums have a long history of cultivation and hybridization. Today, there are many hybrids that come in a rainbow of colors, shapes and sizes.
The most popular hybrid is known as x Amarcrinum.
The name x Amarcrinum refers to any hybrid of the genera Amaryllis and Crinum. These hybrids are likely to produce more flowers than either parent, and have wide strap-shaped leaves and large, scented flowers.
Is Crinum Poisonous?
All parts of the plant are toxic and may cause diarrhea, nausea and vomiting if ingested.
Crinum asiaticum, commonly known as Poison Bulb, is an extremely poisonous plant and contains a variety of alkaloids such as lycorine and tazettine which are toxic to humans and pets.
Crinum Plant Data
Most species have white or whitish flowers, but there are also pink, purple and red varieties. There are also a number of bi-colored varieties.
Spring, Autumn, Winter, Summer
These plants can range from 90 cm to 180 cm (3 to 6 ft) in height, depending on the species.
They are not fussy about soil type and will succeed in a wide range of soil types, though they prefer rich, moist and well-drained soil.