Criminy! What Big Crinums!


Huge Crinum Bulbs in Walmart Sacks

It’s obviously the wrong time of year to transplant iris and daylilies, but necessity is a cruel goddess sometimes. My brother has been renting a small piece of land the last couple of years to grow bulbs and daylilies on, and has specialized in the older, harder to find cultivars. Now, the owner has called in the lease, and Doug has to have everything dug up and out of there by the end of the month. After that, everything gets bush-hogged and bulldozed. (More on the history of this daylily farm at a later date).

Over the last couple of weeks, while digging, I’ve been entertained by the names given to these cultivars. Names like Nightwing, Paradise Princess, and Primal Scream to name just a few.

Last week when we were out there, Doug took me over to the last row, next to the neighbor’s fence. Once there, he shoved a garden fork into the ground and levered up the largest bulbs I had ever seen. These bulbs were anywhere from 3 to 5 inches across and weighed up to 5 pounds each!

crinum cecil houdyshel

Crinum “Cecil Houdyshel”
Image from

These huge bulbs turned out to be crinum lilies (related to amaryllis) and can grow to be about four feet tall and bloom repeatedly throughout the summer. Since they’re originally from tropical Africa and Asia, they’re primarily a hot weather plant grown mostly in the deep south and Texas. This variety, “Cecil Houdyshel”, is a light pink and is hardy as far north as here in North Carolina.

I’ve been reading up on crinum since I brought these home, and have learned, among other things, that they don’t like to be disturbed, and that they can take a couple of years to “settle in” to their new space before they’ll start blooming again.

Oh well. I’ll still put in a new bed in the next couple of days devoted to them, and look forward to having those rare beautiful blooms sometime in the next couple of years. Until then, I have about thirty-six varieties of daylily and untold numbers of iris to find homes for here in the yard. I think that will keep me busy enough for now. 🙂

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3 thoughts on “Criminy! What Big Crinums!

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