Not recommending Peruvian Daffodil (Hymenocallis festalis)

roselee z8b S.W. TexasJune 19, 2012

Since I posted a photo of Peruvian Daffodil (Hymenocallis festalis) on the gallery in April I wanted y'all to know that I'm not recommending them because the folliage flopped something awful when the heat set in even though the bulbs were planted deep, mulched and watered. The flowers were gorgeous, but other Hymenocallis varieties kept beautiful strappy foliage all summer and fall.

But aren't they pretty and as the name indicates, very festive ...

Oh well, you win some and you lose some.

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Gorgeous flowers; what a disappointment that it didn't work out. I've had problems too with various bulbs that were advertised, but in Texas it's tough.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 11:21PM
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queenb(z8b East TX)

Mine didn't do too well, either. I think they only lasted about 3 years before they finally never came back up.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 3:42AM
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I had 1. Lasted a few year. Had to prop him up.

BUT there is a huge clump of them at a neighbor's. They were planted by the original owner. These are '54 houses.

Last own tried to dig some out but they were so deep and so thick she couldn't. The clump is about 3 ft across.

She moved about a mile the crow flies. One of her elderly neighbors has a clump too. He can't remember when they got them, but something about a long time ago. They must have been a "thing" back thenand some made it. Love that flower!

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 9:11AM
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carrie751(z7/8 TX)

Cynthia, those sound like Tropical Giant Crinum ....are they sure of the name of the bulb???

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 9:24AM
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Gardener972(7b-8a DFW)

I've had good luck with mine. I have it planted in dappled shade so it doesn't get full sun.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 1:35PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

I Googled Hymenocallis, also commonly called 'white spider lily' and one site said there are 60 varieties, some native to the U.S.. I've grown two of the more common ones that will make a big healthy clump, but alas the Peruvian Daffodil was not going to do that for me, even though it was in filtered sun.

Gardener972, it's good to know that the Peru variety will do better in some places than it did for me. But it was a pretty cheap experiment. I think 8 or 10 bulbs were $12 at Lowes. At that price one could buy them in the spring and treat them as annuals. I just couldn't take the falling over yellowing foliage.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 2:55PM
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Carrie! You are a treasure of info. That may indeed be it no one knows the name of his or her "clump"

Have you had this crinum?


    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 9:37PM
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carrie751(z7/8 TX)

Yes, and the reason I asked, Cynthia, is because the bulbs are so large and so deep no one can dig them. I brought them from Irving with me when I moved twenty years ago, and they are contained by the pool. Once they got fully established, they are rock solid. I had shared the bulbs for several years, but the last person who tried to dig them almost broke his sharpshooter. A couple of years ago a "critter" helped by loosening the soil at one end and I got as many out as I could.............those all went to good homes. Had a report today from a couple of those recipients that theirs were blooming. Mine always begin blooming by my daughter's birthday (yesterday).

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 10:27PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Carrie, it's amazing how deep crinum bulbs can go and are the devil to dig. I read where they actually pull themselves down after planted. Hymenocallis can also form huge clumps. A neighbor where I once lived had a clump right out in the middle of his front yard six or eight ft. in diameter. It was beautiful through out the growing season and absolutely gorgeous when it bloomed.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 11:14AM
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Roselee, I had the same experience with Peruvian daf. as you did, but I really like my Hymenocallis (noid). Although they are hard to dig, I dig a few every spring because I just don't have the room to let the clump get any larger. I dug 11 bulbs this spring and took most to the spring swaps, giving a few to a neighbor. They are blooming right now. Here's a picture from last year.


    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 11:47AM
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I tried them several times and no luck whatsoever, most of them never even came up and the ones that did had dreadful blooms and never returned.
The common spider lily however can't be beat even when the snails are eating it like candy.
Crinums are a doozy to dig for sure, especially the giant ones. And I garden in pure sand where NOTHING is hard to dig, not even alpinia zerumbut.
Tally HO!

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 10:08AM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

Peruvian Daffodils are similar to Crinum and Agapanthus. They rarely bloom or bloom poorly the first year. They like to get settled in. If you have patience, all of the above will bloom like gangbusters in year three and beyond.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 1:28PM
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Lin barkingdogwoods

Out here in east Texas I ran into some Hymenocallis galvestonensis - typical spider-lily blooms like Tropical Giant, but this one has a manner more like a surprise lily- foliage comes up in March then dies down, and the flower pops up if conditions are right in late summer.

There is also another type that blooms pretty early in the spring along creek banks...foliage of that usually dies back once the spring rains stop.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 10:00PM
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Lin barkingdogwoods

Oh - and from what I've read the most common pass-along spider lily is Hymenocallis (caribaea? caymanensis?) "Tropical Giant" with the shiny green tropical-looking leaves.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 4:12PM
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well love they just never came back after the first year. I planted something else there a couple of years later and there was not any trace of them.

I have a couple of other hymenocallis that do fabulous, bloom heavily and thrive in our sand. One I dug up in a field out by Victoria, the tropical giant was found on the beach after a hurricane, I have others that I pulled from a trash pile. All have thrived and bloomed since the day I brought them home, the ones found on the beach bloomed laying out waiting on me to plant them. Actually the one from Victoria-which died back every fall didn't make it through Ike, so that one I do not consider salt tolerant. Tropical giant can float around in salt water for extended periods and thrive. I routinely sprout seeds from this and crinums that wash up on the beaches here.
Tally HO!

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 4:24PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Thanks all for relating your experience with Hymenocallis!

For the easiest and most reliable 'spider lily' it sounds like Tropical Giant one of the cultivars to look for ...

Here is a link that might be useful: Tropical Giant and others ...

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 4:55PM
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Lin barkingdogwoods

Tally, I'm sad that you lost one that one variety :( But how cool is it to have bulbs wash up on the beach!!!

Roselee, that article says that hymenocallis don't set seed, and I have not found that to be true. Both I have gathered and sprouted seeds from both of my deciduous varieties (the galvestonensis and the one from banks of creeks). So maybe the evergreen ones don't set seed.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 7:50PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Lin, Hymenocallis galvestonensis sounds like it would be fun to grow, but it says below that it doesn't like alkaline soil so unfortunately that lets me out. Oh well, it would be great for those with acid or more neutral soil than I have.

This was on the D garden site;

"On Aug 12, 2006, dmj1218 from west Houston, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:
The controversial identification of this native plant was finally resolved in 1995 by Thad M. Howard. It is native to East Texas, Arkansas, southeastern Oklahoma, western Louisiana, and southern Georgia in sandy upland soil. After the leaves disappear in late summer or fall, it produces tall, naked scapes of white flowers in Lycoris fashion. The scapes of H.galvestonensis is round or oval in cross section. The seed is large, somewhat rounded, and pale green. The leaves are wider than other Hymenocallis species and the tips of the leaves are blunt, rather than pointed. It does not tolerate alkaline soil."

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 8:28PM
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Lin barkingdogwoods

Yes, Roselee,I may have sugar sand for soil but it's acid sand!

What I like about H. galvestonensis is that the leaves have a bluish tint to them - that's how I can tell them from the Lycoris squamigera, even though they both have the same habits. You might be able to see the stem color in the photo attached. You can also see that it's a naked stem coming up, even though I have it planted by the crinum. Last year only a couple bloomed; I'm hoping this year is a better year for them!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 9:01AM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Lin, thanks for the photo. Yes, I can see the bluish tint on the stems of H. galvestonensis. That color foliage on a lily like plant is unusual and beautiful in the garden even when the plant isn't blooming.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 10:01AM
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I know my brain doesn't work like it used to but Ragna yours is different from Jim's, right? I got mine from Carrie, many, many years ago and they look like Jim's and never any problems with them. The gophers couldn't even hurt them

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 12:00AM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Jolana, yep the Hymenocallis festalis pictured at the top of this post is very different from Jim's and many of the other cultivars mentioned above. There are many kinds of Hymenocallis.

The "festalis" variety had very fancy flowers with more petals than the ones commonly grown in Texas, but the plant couldn't take the Texas heat ... :-( Other kinds do very well..

By the way, it sure is GOOD to see you back on the forums ... :-))))

This post was edited by roselee on Thu, May 15, 14 at 0:56

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 12:31AM
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Lin barkingdogwoods

The other wild white spider lily that i have, finally bloomed this year. I didn't take photos of the ones I have in water gardens, but this one is in a shadier bed. I believe it's called Hymenocallis liriosme or spring spider lily - you can see them blooming along creeks in east Texas in early May (usually).

This post was edited by barkingdogwoods on Fri, May 16, 14 at 17:07

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 6:32PM
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