cri·num – [krahy-nuhm] noun
Any of the tropical and subtropical bulbous plants constituting the genus Crinum, of the amaryllis family, usually having umbels of large, showy flowers. – Dictionary.com
I’ve been out washing and separating the Crinum bulbs this morning. I ended up with about 30 bulbs ranging in size from 1″ to 4″ across, all from 4 clumps of bulbs dug up last week. 🙂
As far as I can tell, Crinums were introduced to the United States in the late 1700’s. They were brought over from tropical Asia and southern Africa were primarily found around old southern plantations, (leading me to believe they were quite expensive at the time). Some speculate that they were brought over on slave ships since the Crinum is used in traditional African medicine in Africa and here in the U.S.
There are only about 180 species of Crinum, and some grow up to seven feet tall. Most will only grow in the frost-free South, but I’ve come across successful experiments where these have grown and flowered successfully as far north as New York.
Crinums can be propagated from seeds, from offsets from the main bulb, or from bulb cuttings. They should be grown in sandy soil with plenty of compost. (Sandy soil is something we’ve got a lot of here in my part of North Carolina!)
Upon reading more about Crinums, I’ve found that they currently range in price (on the internet) from about $20 for a small bulb to $40 for a large “bloomer”, and are very rarely offered commercially anymore. In other words, don’t expect to find these at your local Lowes or Home Depot. Now knowing this, I’ve decided to keep a few of these out for trading purposes. 🙂
- Crimeny! What Big Crinums! (northcarolinadad.wordpress.com)
- Late Bulb Planting (plinthetal.com)
- DIY Bulb Gardening Hints..How To Do It Right (diy-home-tips.com)