Swamp Lily

Swamp lilies are just one of the large family of Amaryllidaceael or the lily family that includes over 180 species. They are also called by the names Mangrove lily, swamp lily and river lily. This fragrant flower grows very well in the moist swampy areas of southeastern United States especially in the swamps of Florida and South Georgia. It also grows in The Queensland and New South Wales areas of Australia, some of the Pacific Islands and New Guinea.

It is not known if the Swamp lily is a true lily or an offshoot of some other  lily. The true botanical name of the Swamp lily is Crinum pedunculatum. The Swamp lily grows from 24-48 inches in height. It needs full sunlight or partial shade to grow well. It grows well along forest edges, in swampy areas, marshes and in any type of sandy moist soil. It grows in clusters as much as 48 inches in width.

The Swamp lily flowers in the summer months. it has large white or pink/white flowers that have six petals. It grows in cluster of 10-100 flowers. The flowers grow on what is known as the umbel (a short flower stalk with groups or clusters of flowers arranged on a stem  and composed of one main branch.) The Swamp lily blooms and flowers extremely well after a good rain.The moisture really enhances the wonderful scent of this beautiful lily.

The large blooms make it a wonderful plant for large gardens. It is a little overpowering for smaller gardens however. The Swamp lily does best in moist areas as it needs large quantities of water. It does however make a good plant for large containers. Placing a couple of large containers on the sides of small decks in good moist sandy soil is a good way to use them when you don’t have a lot of yard space but want these beautiful plants as a part of your outside decor.

The sap of the Swamp lily has been used as a medicine for certain types of marine stings.

The Swamp lily has small bulbs that grow above ground and larger ones below ground. they are onion like in appearance and are easy to transplant. The best time of the year to plant them is the fall or spring. They should be planted 8 inches deep with a spacing of 12-18 inches. When storing the bulbs it is best to place them in moist sandy soil and keep them in temperatures between 35 and 45 degrees.