Giant Himalayan Lily
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Giant Himalayan Lily
ative Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Giant Himalayan Lily, Giant lily • Nepali: घिउ पात Ghiu Paat
Botanical name: Cardiocrinum giganteum    Family: Liliaceae (Lily family)
Synonyms: Lilium giganteum

Giant Himalayan lily is a majestic Himalayan plant reaching a height of 2-3 m with almost 20 cm long fragrant trumpet-shaped flowers and large heart shaped leaves. The middle flowers of the raceme open first. The buds have an upright position in the raceme while the flowers in the beginning are oriented perpendicular to the axis but later on become hanging. The white flowers (maroon interior markings) are beautiful and fragrant. After pollination the petals fall off and the swelling ovary lengthens and turns upright from its formerly pendant position. The flower stalks age beautifully in the fall and on a dry day, the seed pods split open and shimmering drifts of delicate seed float down to the ground. Giant Himalayan lily is found in the Himalayas, from Garhwal to NE India, S. Tibet, N. Burma, at altitudes of 1800-3000 m. Flowering: June-July.

Identification credit: Navendu Pagé Photographed in Arunachal Pradesh.

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