Clusters of white

WHITE BEAUTY This species takes up a lot of space

WHITE BEAUTY This species takes up a lot of space  

Crinum asialicum, also called poison lily, bears white fragrant flowers

Genus of about 130 species of deciduous or evergreen, bulbous perennials found along streamsides in South Africa, Ramily Amaryllidaceae are grown for their large, showy, funnel-shaped, long-tubed, scented flowers borne on leafless stems. The leaves are basal, usually long and strap-shaped. They are light green to mid green in colour. They take up a lot of space and are best planted where they can be left alone for years, for they resent disturbance.

Sunlight essential

All species can be grown in tubs. They require sunlight, but dappled shade is kinder. The soil must be deep. Extra rich and well-drained. Keep the soil moist whenever the plants have leaves. Top dress annually with manure. Propagate by sowing seeds or by offsets. Detach the offsets when they are young. Crinum asialicum bears pure white fragrant flowers, in summer clustered together in an enormous head. Crinum asiaticumis is also called `poison lily'. Crinum arigustum bears lightly perfumed flowers. While its buds and long spidery stamens are deep red, the flowers are flushed pink. Crinum moiré produces its nodding pink blood-red flowers in summer. They are big and showy. It does well in sun or deep shade. Crinum powelli album can be grown anywhere and is one of the best of all crinums. The clusters of big drooping trumpet-shaped flowers appear in summer and each bloom can be 8 cm across. Crinums make beautiful hedges on pathways and entrances.CHITRA RADHAKRISHNAN

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