Crinum pedunculatus

Swamp Lily, River Lily

Family: Amaryllidaceae

Crinum pedunculatus is a member of the Amaryllidaceae family in company with the exotic Narcissus and Nerine. The accepted common names are Swamp or River Lily.

Crinum pedunculatus is a large, perennial, bulbous herb. The leaves may be up to 2 metres long by 15 centimetres wide. Leaves spread in a large tussock and may be green or bluish.

The flowers are carried in dense clusters that contain 10 to 25 white flowers. Individual blooms are 10 centimetres across and perfumed. Flowering extends from November to March. Flower clusters are on stalks about 50 centimetres long. Seeds are 2-5 centimetres in diameter with a beak.

Crinum pedunculatus grows in colonies along tidal areas and streams. The species is evergreen, hardy and resists frost.

The River Lily has an interesting distribution and is found in New South Wales including Lord Howe Island, Queensland, Northern Territory as well as New Guinea, Keeling Island, New Caledonia and Timor.

In the garden

Crinum pedunculatus could be cultivated under established trees, in full sun or in containers.

Propagation

Propagate from seed that should be kept moist. Seeds sometimes germinate whilst still attached to the plant.

Other information

Painful box jellyfish stings have been treated with crushed River Lily leaves.

By Warren and Gloria Sheather / Jeff Howes