Australian Plants online
Index   Back Issues   ANPSA Home

Crinum peduncalutum - Swamp Lily

Jeff Howes

Common name: Swamp Lily

Crinum: from the Greek crinon meaning a lily

peduncalutum: from the Latin peduncalatus meaning with a peduncle, refering to the long flowering stalk.

Grows naturally along the eastern seaboard of Australia, however it is not all that common in the wild.

I planted my first plant about 15 years ago in my garden, in the northern Sydney suburb of Westleigh and I now have quite a few, as new plants grow readily from the many large seeds that are produced after the late December flowering. I have found them to be hardy plants and while they respond to watering as their common name suggests, they still grow well in dry conditions but their flowering is poor. All my plants receive no additional watering and I have not lost any due to lack of water.

This plant has broad leaves 70 cm long that grow from an underground bulb. Over time they will produce a small trunk. The leafless flowering stem rises from the lower leaves and produces up to 20 white flowers in an attractive terminal simple umbel. Many large oval seeds are produced after flowering. They are quite fertile and grow easily.

Crinum peduncalutum - close up    Crinum peduncalutum - whole plant
Crinum peduncalutum
Photos: Jeff Howes

These plants are susceptible to a few garden pests. Snails can be a problem; fortunately this does not usually happen in my garden as it is normally quite dry and not conducive to a large population of snails or slugs. Another problem is that a plant can sometimes be defoliated by the smooth, black and white caterpillars of the moth Spodoptera picta.

Both these problems should not deter you from growing them in clumps of three or five as they make and excellent feature plants in the garden as they have a strong architectural presence to them.

Index   Back Issues   ANPSA Home

Australian Plants online - 2008
Association of Societies for Growing Australian Plants