Cardiocrinum giganteum

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giant Himalayan lily
Cardiochrinum giganteum 01Hab China Sichuan Danyun Schlucht 16 06 04.jpg
Cardiocrinum giganteum in Sichuan
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
Order: Liliales
Family: Liliaceae
Subfamily: Lilioideae
Genus: Cardiocrinum
Species: C. giganteum
Binomial name
Cardiocrinum giganteum
(Wall.) Makino[1]
  • Cardiocrinum mirabile (Franch.) Makino
  • Lilium cordifolium subsp. giganteum (Wall.) Baker
  • Lilium giganteum Wallich
  • Lilium mirabile Franch.
1880 illustration [3]

Cardiocrinum giganteum, the giant Himalayan lily, is the largest species of any of the lily plants, growing up to 3.5 metres high. It is found in the Himalayas, China and Myanmar (Burma).[2]


Two varieties are recognized[2][4]

A plant of Cardiocrinum giganteum var. yunnanense growing at Jardin Jungle Karlostachys in France

History of cultivation[edit]

The plant was first described scientifically in 1824 by Nathaniel Wallich.[5] The species was introduced into commercial production (as Lilium giganteum) in Britain in the 1850s. A bulb grown from seed collected by Major Madden flowered in Edinburgh in July 1852, while those collected by Thomas Lobb were first exhibited in flower in May 1853.[6]


  1. ^ Cardiocrinum giganteum on Plants For A Future
  2. ^ a b c Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  3. ^ Henry John Elwes: A monograph of the genus Lilium; illustrated by W.H. Fitch. Taylor and Francis, London 1880
  4. ^ Xinqi Chen; Prof. Song-Yun Liang; Jie-mei Xu; David E. Boufford; Michael G. Gilbert; Rudolf V. Kamelin; Shoichi Kawano; Tetsuo Koyama; Elena V. Mordak; Junko Noguchi; Victor G. Soukup; Hiroshi Takahashi; Kamilla G. Tamanian; Minoru N. Tamura; Nicholas J. Turland. "Flora of China".  |chapter= ignored (help)
  5. ^ Wallich, Nathaniel. 1824. Tentamen Florae Napalensis Illustratae 1: 21–23, pl. 12–13., as Lilium giganteum
  6. ^ James H. Veitch (1906). Hortus Veitchii. p. 448.