Enter the Crinum lily

Enter the Crinum lily

A Tough Pass-along Perennial Bulb for the Summer Flowering Garden

By Published July 22, 2018 Updated June 22, 2022

Welcome to Plant Delights Nursery at Juniper Level Botanic Gardens. We are a private research and display botanic garden located near Raleigh, North Carolina (USDA Hardiness Zone 7b). Our retail mail order division allows us to make the best perennials from our trials available to gardeners around the world, some of which were developed here, some from our plant explorations, and others from breeders around the world. Between 1988 and 2010, Plant Delights Nursery introduced over 500 new perennial plants to US horticulture. In 2002, we were honored to be recognized by the American Horticulture Society for our lifetime of work in commercial horticulture. This image gallery is but a sampling of the great perennial plants available for gardeners around the world. We do not carry all plants pictured at any one time, but since our mission is to educate and inspire, we hope these images and the linked articles below will expand your garden horizons and interest. You will find an array of other interesting information and fascinating perennials throughout our website...thank you for taking time to visit.

Crinum lily (often misspelled "crinium") is a classic southern bulb that has been popular for generations. They can survive for hundreds of years in the same spot with little care...how's that for tough! Not only are Crinums tough, they are extremely adaptable. Crinum Lilies can tolerate dry sites or can be grown partially submerged in water (altough they flower best in good soils with regular watering). The extreme flexibility makes Crinums perfect plants for low maintenance sites or for rain gardens which can be dry for a long period of time and then inundated with runoff water.

Given their large lily-like flower, extended bloom season, toughness, and beauty, you'd expect to see Crinum lilies growing everywhere in the south, but sadly that is not the case. Crinums fall into the category of "if grandma grew it, then I do not want it". Thankfully, there are plenty of you out there who still like Crinum lily, or don't care that the plant is old-fashioned. For those of you in that camp, Plant Delights is here to satisfy your crinum lily needs.

We currently grow nearly 200 different crinums in our trials and we select the very best to offer to you. The giant clumps of bold, tropical, foliage make crinums an imposing architectural statement. Starting in late spring and summer, crinum lily clumps are topped with an array of red, pink, white or striped flowers...often fragrant too. Flowering continues until frost. After each crinum flower is pollinated, it produces a handful of large greenish seeds that can be collected and shared with your neighbors. You'll soon have more than you can use.

Try pairing crinums with other tough plants like agave and prolific bloomers like buddleia, or maybe try out one of the echinacea plants for sale here at Plant Delights. If you have never tried Crinums before, now is the time. We think that you will really like them. Think about it... large flowers, long bloom period, really tough ... what's not to like about Crinum Lily?

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