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Bulbs of the World

The Amaryllis Family: Genus Crinum

Crinum abyssinicum Hochst. ex A. Richard (syn. schrimperi), is native to Ethiopia, where it grows on the central plateau. The bulbs grow deeply in the ground and have a very long neck. The flowers are white trumpets with some reddish coloration on the outside. They require cool weather to open properly. Said to bloom very rarely in cultivation.

Crinum acaule is a semi-dwarf species in subgenus Codonocrinum. It occurs in Zululand in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, and again in Namibia. The scape is very short, and the flowers barely emerge from the ground. For an image of a naturally occurring hybrid with C. stuhlmannii (= C. delagoense) see: See more information on this topic

Crinum album (Forsskål) Herbert (syn. yemense) is native to Yemen in the Arabian Peninsula, where it grows in wet places in the highlands. Flowers are pure white. Said to bloom very rarely in cultivation. C. album and C. abyssinicum are sometimes lumped into a single species. DNA evidence does not appear to support this lumping.

Crinum americanum is native to the Southeastern United States. Common name is "Swamp Lily". The white star-like flowers have narrow petals and sepals. Found growing in permanent wet areas. There are a group of species native to North or South America, including C. americanum, that are a distinct group.

Crinum angustifolium R.Br., Prodr. Fl. Nov. Holl.: 297 (1810). [Cf. Houtt, Natuurlijke Historie [tweede deel {second part}] 2(12): 165. 1780. (5 Jul 1780)] Considered by some to be a synonym of Crinum arenarium, but David Lehmiller considers them to be distinct species; we follow Lehmiller. Native to Australia.

Crinum angustifolium var. darwinense Lehmiller and Lykos, Herbertia 66: 120 (2012). Native to Australia, near Darwin University.

Crinum arenarium Herb., Bot. Mag. 49: t. 2355 (1822). See also: angustifolium (above). Native to Australia.

Crinum asiaticum is found over the Pacific. Plants do not form a true bulb, but develop a trunk-like basal plate, The leaves grow in a tight bundle at the base. Subgenus Steneaster or Crinum. The plants can grow very large in habitat.

Crinum aurantiacum Lehmiller, Herbertia 57: 73 (2002 publ. 2004). Subgenus Codonocrinum. It is native to Zambia. It has white, star-like zygomorphic flowers with red or pink midrib bands on the outside of the tepals; pedicels are pronounced, 1½ to 2½ inches long. Scapes are short, 4 to 10 inches high; umbels with 10 to 21 buds. The fruits are yellow-orange or golden in color and smoothly spherical; they lack any sort of "beak" or rostrum. The leaves on mature bulbs become very wide, up to nearly 8 inches across; they are widely undulate (have wavy margins). Leaves have ciliate (finely hairy) edges. This is a new species, described by Dr. David Lehmiller in 2003.

Crinum baumii is a dwarf species that is more closely related by DNA to Ammocharis than it is to Crinum. Its tepal segments are very narrow and drooping, with only one or perhaps two blooms. It occurs in Angola and Namibia. It is now considered to be an Ammocharis.

Crinum broussonetii (Redouté) Herbert, in the subgenus Stenaster or Crinum, occurs in Tchad and Cameroun. The flowers are sessile and funnel-shaped, 2 to 7 per umbel, with dark red stripes on the tepals. Similar species is C. yuccaeides, but leaves of broussonetii are widest at the base. Grows in open savannah regions where it is seasonally flooded.

Crinum bulbispermum -- see other page: See more information on this topic

Crinum buphanoides is native to Angola, Namibia, and the former Transvaal in South Africa. The bulbs become quite large. The leaves are distichous, light green, and sheath the base forming a pseudostem. Subgenus Crinum.

Crinum campanulatum, or "Marsh Lily", is found in seasonal marshes in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. The bulb is small, less than 2 inches in diameter and 3 inches long; it produces offsets. The leaves are narrow, 14 to 25 mm wide at the base, and channeled. The umbel bears 4 to 7 flowers, whose tepal segments are so widened that they form a cup rather than a funnel. Difficult to get to flower in cultivation, unless you grow it well submerged under the water, according to Herb Kelly; standing it in a saucer of water is not sufficient. Subgenus Codonocrinum. See more information on this topic

Crinum carolo-schmidtii is found in Namibia in the flood plains of the Okavango and Zambesi rivers. It is a small plant with sturdy, upright, U-shaped leaves. Blooms are borne in umbels of one or two flowers. Subgenus Codonocrinum. I usually grow it with the pot standing in a saucer of water.

Crinum crassicaule occurs in Zambia. The plant under this name from Namibia may be C. subceruum. Subgenus Codonocrinum.

Crinum defixum Ker-Gawler is native to Nepal. Subgenus Steneaster or Crinum.

Crinum delagoense -- synonym of Crinum stuhlmannii, q.v.

Crinum distichum Herbert. Found in southern Tchad. The bulbs are 1.6 inches to ca. 3 inches in diameter. the scape is 4 to 10 inches high, with 1 to 3 flowers per umbel. The funnel-shaped flowers are sessile (no pedicels) and zygomorphic. Tepals have dark red stripes. Requires a lot of water during the growing season.

Crinum erubescens is native to brazil. It is a member of the American group of Crinum species. A somewhat similar species of Crinum native to Peru is probably an undescribed species.

Crinum fimbriatulum has white zygomorphic flowers with a red band on each tepal, carried on a tall scape, to ca. 4 ft. The fruits are beaked. The channel shaped leaves are long and have no midrib. The bases of the leaves form a pseudostem above the bulb. This species is sister to the entire Asian-Madagascar clade, according to Meerow et al. (2003). Angola, where it grows in seasonal swamps.

Crinum firmifolium is native to Madagascar. Subgenus Crinum. Flowers are sessile (no pedicels), and the tepals droop at anthesis. Leave margins broadly undulated (wavy) with margins entire (smooth edges). Subgenus Crinum .

Crinum flaccidum or Murray Lily is native to Australia, but is most closely related to the Codonocrinum group of southern Africa. The typical form has white flowers, but subspecies luteolum has yellow flowers. Subgenus Codonocrinum.

Crinum forbesii -- synonym of Crinum stuhlmannii, q.v.

Crinum giessii Lehmiller, Herbertia 52: 50 (1997). Subgenus Codonocrinum. Native to Namibia.

Crinum glaucum A. Chevalier. Subgenus Codonocrinum. Found in Chad and Benin. leaves in a rosette, glaucous, and about 100 mm (4 inches) wide. The umbel carries 7 to 10 buds; flowers are pure white, sessile. Flower form is zygomorphic and tulip-shaped. Fruit is beaked.

Crinum graminicola -- see other page: See more information on this topic

Crinum hanitrae Lehmiller & Sisk, Herbertia 62: 182 (2009). Native to Madagascar.

Crinum hardyi (Lehmiller) is a new species endemic to Madagascar. The leaves are denticulate (have toothed edges), while the margins of the leaves of C. firmifolium are entire (have smooth edges). The flowers have tepals that are held horizontally at anthesis, while those of firmifolium droop at anthesis. Subgenus Crinum. It grows in western Madagascar along river banks. See: Lehmiller (2003-2004).

Crinum harmsii Baker in O.Warburg (ed.), Kunene-Sambesi Exped.: 565 (1903). Subgenus Codonocrinum. Native to Namibia, Angola, and Zambia. Very rare in cultivation.

Crinum hildebrandtii Vatke is endemic to the Comoros Islands. It is in the subgenus Stenaster or Crinum. It superficially resembles C. firmifolium of Madagascar. David Lehmiller discussed C. hildebrandtii in HERBERTIA (1992).

Crinum humilis A. Chevalier. Subgenus Codonocrinum. Found in Cameroon and Burkina Fasa. Bulbs small, up to 2 inches in diameter (50 mm). Leaves in a rosette; leaves are very narrow with straight, smooth margins. Scape is short, to ca. 5 inches. Umbel contains one flower, that is sessile, zygomorphic, and funnel shaped. Tepal segments have dark red stripes. Fruit has a very short beak, and contains many seeds.

Crinum kakaduense (kakaduensis [sic]) Lehmiller and Lykos, Herbertia 66: 120 (2012). Native to Australia.

Crinum kirkii is a small plant native to East Africa and Zanzibar. Flowers are white with red band in each tepal; nocturnal. Scapes 12 to 18 inches tall. Blooms in summer.

Crinum lakefieldense Lehmiller and Lykos, Herbertia 66: 120 (2012). Native to Australia.

Crinum lavrani Lehmiller, Herbertia 61: 123 (2009). Native to Madagascar.

Crinum ligulatum Baker is native to Madagascar. Subgenus Crinum. White, actinomorphic flowers. There is a pseudostem above ground

Crinum lineare is native to the Eastern Cape province of South Africa, where it grows in sandy soil. The plant forms a small bulb, about the size of a golf ball. Forms offsets readily. Leaves are narrow, channeled, and grass-green. Umbels carry 4 to 14 flowers, white with pink to deep rose keels, on a peduncle 8 to 24 inches tall. Anthers are black. Subgenus Codonocrinum. Grow in a sandy, well-drained mixture. I've had better luck getting it to bloom by having with the pot standing in a saucer of water in the growing season.

Crinum lugardiae -- see other page: See more information on this topic

Crinum macowanii -- see other page: See more information on this topic

Crinum mauritianum Loddige is native to Madagascar. Subgenus Crinum. White, actinomorphic flowers. It grows in salt-water swamps; so it requires a lot of water during the growing season.

Crinum mccoyi Lehmiller is a new species endemic to Madagascar, where it occurs in the south central region. Found only a very local regions in the Itremo Mountains. The sessile flowers are zygomorphic (radially asymmetric) and are bourne in umbels of 1 to 7. The style and the anther filaments are short. At anthesis, the flower is filled with clear, rather viscous nectar. See: Lehmiller (2003-2004).

Crinum minimum Milne-Redhead is a dwarf species found only in northwest Zambia. The single, large, funnel-shaped flower is borne on a very short scape. Seeds are smooth. The leaves are very narrow, deeply channeled, and tend to be relatively short. Similar species are C. acaule, C. walteri and C. parvibulbosum. Subgenus Codonocrinum. There may not be any of this species in cultivation.

Crinum modestum Baker is native to Madagascar. It forms a large bulb to 10 cm in diameter. The leaves are bluish-green and reach 5 cm in width. The flowers are carried in umbels of 2 to 11 florets, zygomorphic, with curved tepal tubes. Filaments are short and declinate.

Crinum moorei -- see other page: See more information on this topic

Crinum muelleri Lehmiller & Lykos, Herbertia 66: 89 (2012). Native to Australia. Very similar to uniflorum, but with wider leaves.

Crinum nerinoides is a dwarf species that is more closely related by DNA to Ammocharis than it is to Crinum. Its tepal segments are very narrow and drooping, usually with 3 or more blooms. It occurs in Namibia. It is now considered to be an Ammocharis, (Baker) Lehmiller [Novon 2: 33 (1993)].

Crinum ogalathilum (c) copyright 2005 by Shields Gardens Ltd.  All rights reserved. Crinum oliganthum (Urban, 1919) is a very dwarf species from the Caribbean region. A single flower is produced on a short, 2 inch, scape. Overall height of flower is 7 inches, including scape; diameter across face is 2½ inches. Leaves are about 7 inches long and ½ inch wide. It is related to the other native New World Crinum species, like C. americanum, and produces many rhizomatous offshoots.

Crinum paludosum is native to Namibia, Botswana, and to parts of the former Transvaal and KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. The flowers are held facing upward and outward (sub-erect) and are white suffused with pale pink. This may need to be grown with the pot standing in a saucer of water during the growing season.

Crinum pauciflorum Baker. Subgenus Codonocrinum. Found in Tchad and Sudan. This species is distinct from C. distichum. Bulbs are about 2 inches (50 mm) in diameter. Leaves are deeply channeled (i.e., U-shaped), narrow, and very long. Margins are finely toothed. Scape is 13 to 20 inches high. Umbels carry 1 to 3 bud. The sessile flowers are zygomorphic and funnel shaped. Requires a lot of water during the growing season.

Crinum politifolium is native to Tanzania. Its leaves have prominent midribs and are held horizontally. Closely related to Crinum kirkii.

Crinum pronkii Lehmiller, Herbertia 63: 124 (2009). Native to Madagascar.

Crinum rautanenianum occurs in Zambia and from Ovamboland across northern Namibia. It grows in seasonal ponds. The umbel carries from 1 to 5 flowers, depending on habitat or conditions of cultivation. Flowers are goblet-shaped and turn pink as they age. Anthers black, covered with grey pollen. The leaves are narrow, serrated on the edges, and channeled (U-shaped, or "canaliculated"). I assume this in in subgenus Codonocrinum. Crinum euchrophyllum is probably synonmous with rautanenianum according to David Lehmiller.

Crinum razafindratsiraea Lehmiller is a recently descibed species from the central plateau of Madagascar. Subgenus Crinum. Small bulb only 1.6 to 3 inches in diameter, which forms a short underground neck. Leaves channeled, 24 to 36 inches long. Scape 20 to 24 inches long, carrying 1 to 9 flowers. Flowers are sessile (no pedicels), open at night.

Crinum roperense (Crinum roperensis [sic]) Lehmiller & Lykos, Herbertia 64: 105 (2010). Native to Australia.

Crinum strictum is found in Mexico. It is closely related to C. americanum but grows to huge size, getting far larger than its relatives in the American group.

Crinum stuhlmannii is also known as C. delagoense and C. forbesii. Native to KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa. See: See more information on this topic

Crinum subcernuum Subgenus Crinum. Namibia, Mozambique. Most plants labeled with this name are probably x-digweedii. See: Lehmiller (1997a).

Crinum submersum is native to Brazil. Formerly considered a member of subgenus Steneaster or Crinum, but it is distinctly a member of the American group. Tepals white with pink keels; tube yellow-green.

Crinum uniflorum Mueller. Native to Australia.

Crinum variabile -- see other page: See more information on this topic

Crinum venosum R.Br., Prodr. Fl. Nov. Holl.: 297 (1810). Native to Australia.

Crinum verdoorniae is native to Namibia in the upper regions of the Zambesi River and near Victoria Falls in Zambia. Subgenus Codonocrinum.

Crinum walteri Overkott is very similar to Crinum minimum Milne-Redhead but with papilose seeds. Distinguished from C. acaule by leaves less than 9 mm wide in walteri but up to 17 mm wide in acaule. Subgenus Codonocrinum. See: Lehmiller (1997a).

Crinum xerophilum (Perrier) ex Lehmiller is native to desert regions in Madagascar. Subgenus Crinum. The flowers are bourne on pedicels. The leaf margins are ciliate (have fine hairs).

Crinum yuccaeides (Thompson) Herbert in the subgenus Stenaster or Crinum occurs in Cameroon. Similar to C. broussonetii, except the leaves are lanceolate (widest at the middle). Flowers similar to broussonetii, but 4 to 8 in the umbel. Grows on river banks.

Crinum zeylanicum is native to India and Ceylon. Subgenus Codonocrinum. Some forms or hybrids of this species may be what are known as "Crinum scabrum".


Other Sources of Information

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For information about this account, contact:
James E. Shields,
Last revised: 29 July 2013
© Copyright 2013 by James E. Shields. All rights reserved.