Monday, November 7, 2016

At the Oasis | American Crinum

Oasis is a word that translates easily in many countries and languages. It means a fertile or green area in an arid region such as a desert or something that provides refuge, relief, or pleasant contrast. During our hot summer it is so pleasant enjoying the woodland that surrounds our house. I consider it an oasis providing shade from the brilliant summer sun. As the summer comes to an end and the cooler weather moves in my crinum lily with its beautiful white blooms is a reminder of relief from the months of blaring heat.

The American crinum lily grows well in my shady garden. Pronounced: (Kry' -num). It prefers a sunny location, though.

American crinum lily, Crinum lily

Swamp lily, Southern swamp lily, String lily, Seven sisters

Currently blooming in my garden (yes, it is November) is our only native crinum, American crinum lily. They grow in small clumps. The strappy leaves grow directly from the bulb and are two to four feet long and two to three inches wide. The beautiful flowers are scented and attract pollinators.

Imagine early explorer's delight finding this cluster of unusual strappy leaves growing  in boggy and swampy areas, the mystery in wondering what type of flowers they produced, if any, and then finding the beautiful, enthusiastic white clusters coming forth with what seems like hardly any effort.

Moninckx atlas, vol. 6: t. 29 (1682-1709)
 crinum americanum
 Curtis’s Botanical Magazine, t. 1014-1059, vol. 26
(1807), Sydenham Teast Edwards (1768 – 1819)
Source: Plant Illustrations

Amaryllidaceae Family 
Pacific Bulb Society
Ogden, Scott. Garden Bulbs for the South. Portland, Or: Timber Press, 2007. Print.
Manning, John, Peter Goldblatt, and D A. Snijman.;The Color Encyclopedia of Cape Bulbs. Portland: Timber Press, 2002. Print.
Knight, Anthony.; A Guide to Poisonous House and Garden Plants. Hoboken: Teton NewMedia, Inc, 2014. Internet resource.