From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Hymenocallis littoralis
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Amaryllidoideae
Genus: Hymenocallis

Hymenocallis /ˌhmɨnəˈkælɪs/[1] is a genus of flowering plants in the family Amaryllidaceae, subfamily Amaryllidoideae.[2] It contains more than 60 species of herbaceous bulbous perennials native to grasslands, wetlands and rocky habitats[3] in tropical and subtropical America.[4]

The flower stalks arise from basal rosettes of strap-shaped leaves. The terminal clusters of fragrant flowers are green, white or yellow, and can be large and spectacular. The genus name Hymenocallis, meaning "beautiful membrane", refers to the curious shape of the flowers. They consist of six narrow, curved petals attached to a shallow cup which is formed from the fused stamens. The effect is of a spidery daffodil or lily, thus explaining the common name "spider lily" for some species.[3]


Most Hymenocallis must be grown in a warm greenhouse or in a sheltered sunny spot where the ground does not freeze. The North American species H. occidentalis is found as far north as southwestern Indiana where winters can reach 0 °F (−18 °C).[5] They like good drainage and grow well in a soil rich with organic matter. The following species and hybrids are found in cultivation:-[3]

  • H. amancaes
  • H. caribaea
  • H. × festalis (H. longipetala × H. narcissiflora)
  • H. harrisiana
  • H. littoralis
  • H. × macrostephana[6] (H. narcissiflora × H. speciosa)      
  • H. narcissiflora
  • H. speciosa
  • H. 'Sulphur Queen'


As of October 2011, the World Checklist of Selected Plant Families accepts 64 species:[4]


  1. ^ Sunset Western Garden Book, 1995:606–607
  2. ^ Stevens, P.F. (2001 onwards), Angiosperm Phylogeny Website: Asparagales: Amaryllidoideae 
  3. ^ a b c RHS A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants. United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 1136. ISBN 1405332964. 
  4. ^ a b WCSP (2011), World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, retrieved 2011-10-21 , search for "Hymenocallis"
  5. ^ "BONAP's North American Plant Atlas". The Biota of North America Program. Retrieved 7 August 2013. 
  6. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - '' ". Retrieved 23 June 2013.