Botanical name: Crinum powellii Family: Amaryllidaceae (Nargis family)
In the 19th century, English plant breeders crossed two species of South African crinum lilies - Crinum bulbispermum and C. moorei - to create the hybrid Crinum X powellii, or Cape lily. The Cape lily has gone on to become one of the most popular perennials in the southern United States, passed along though generations of gardeners. The Cape lily grows in a mound of arching straplike leaves 3-4 ft long which arise from a large, long-necked bulb. The bulb can be as much as 7 in in diameter. The fragrant funnel shaped flowers grow to 4in long and are borne on leafless stalks in succession from late summer until autumn. Many garden crinums, the "milk and wine lilies", have striped flowers, but Cape lily has flowers that are either all white or all pink. Most cultivars are some shade of pink. 'Cecil Houdyshel', which produces clusters of 6-10 deep rose-pink flowers throughout the summer, is an old time southern favorite. 'Album' has pure white flowers.
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