Crinum americanum

Swamp lily

Native to Florida

Species Overview

Swamp lily is an emersed plant that is frequently found growing in swamps, marshes, and wet hammocks. It is a fragrant native. There are four species of Crinum in Florida (Wunderlin, 2003). Swamp lily is found in the southeastern U.S. (Kartesz, 1999). The delicate and fragrant swamp lily is a Florida native. It grows in wetlands and along streams throughout the state.

 swamp lilyView the herbarium specimen image from the University of Florida Herbarium Digital Imaging Projects.

Species Characteristics

The swamp lily is a perennial herb, with an onion-like bulb. The leaves are erect to spreading. Leaves are strap-like, up to 3 feet long and 3 inches wide. Swamp lily flowers arise from the bulb on a long flower stalk that is separate from the leaves. Two to six flowers occur at the tip of the flower stalk. The long flower tubes are 4 to 6 inches long. Swamp lily flowers are white, or white and pink, and are fragrant. They have 6 petals. The fruit is a capsule, with large, fleshy seeds. Swamp lilies may be confused with spider lilies (of the genus Hymenocallis). Remember that swamp lily flowers have 6 separate petals. Spider lily flowers have petals that are connected by membranous tissue. The swamp lily flower has long, wide, strap-like leaves, its flowers are on long stalks. Swamp lily flowers are white and fragrant, with 6 separated petals.