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Southeast Regional Reports

Crinum Lilies Are Long-Lasting Show-Stoppers

These jewels of the South will be a centerpiece in your garden from spring to summer

‘Bradley’ crinum lily (Crinum ‘Bradley’, Zones 7-10)

If you’re a plant lover who lives in the Southeast, chances are you’ve heard of crinum lilies and may even have admired them blooming in old cemeteries or abandoned lots. The same chances predict, however, that you’re not growing them. Such is the paradox, even mystery, of these bold, large-flowered, once-you-have-them-they’re-yours-forever bulbs of southern lore. How can such a standout plant have cult status among select gardeners but be missing from so many gardens? I’ve decided it’s time to break the spell and grow more crinums.

‘Cecil Houdyshel’ crinum lily. Photo by Paula Gross.

Which Crinum Lilies Should You Plant?

I went straight to my friend Frankie Fanelli, southern bulb aficionado, for her top three recommendations for Zone 7 and higher. For a first specimen, she recommends ‘Cecil Houdyshel’ crinum (Crinum ‘Cecil Houdyshel’, Zones 7–11) for its lightly fragrant, shell-pink trumpet flowers that cut…

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