Saturday, December 23, 2017

Crinum Lily in Bloom

Walking through the Joan Durante Park on Longboat Key this morning, my wife and I came across a crinum lily in bloom.  Also know as giant spider lilies or swamp lilies, these large plants are native to the subtropics of Southeast Asia but have since become naturalized in tropical and subtropical regions across the globe.

Up to six feet tall and represented by almost 200 species worldwide, crinum lilies are perennial, evergreen bulb plants that favor swamps or riparian woodlands; they propagate by suckering (producing large clumps) or by seed.  The natural species have 2-6 fragrant white flowers which curve and merge to yield a globular flower head; in tropical and subtropical habitats, flowering occurs throughout the year.

Though we have explored the Joan Durante Park on many occasions (and in all seasons) over the years, this was our first encounter with a crinum lily in bloom; it would have been hard to miss the large flower cluster or its pleasant fragrance.  Just another reminder that timing plays a major role when we experience natural ecosystems.