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Published In: An Appendix: [General index to the Botanical magazine, vol. 43-48 containing a treatise on bulbous roots] 44. 1821. (Appendix) Name publication detail

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 7/9/2009)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 7/9/2009)
Status: Native


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1. Hymenocallis caroliniana (L.) Herbert (spider lily)

Pl. 103 g; Map 415

H. occidentalis (Le Conte) Kunth

Plants perennial, with large, stout bulbs, lacking the odor of onion or garlic. Aerial stems 30–75 cm long, unbranched below the inflorescence, erect, glabrous, somewhat flattened. Leaves several, basal, 25–65 cm long, linear, somewhat folded or channeled longitudinally, glabrous, often somewhat glaucous. Inflorescences at the tips of the aerial stems, umbels of 2–6 flowers, subtended by a whorl of 2–6 bracts, these 3–5 cm long, linear to narrowly triangular, white and papery at maturity. Flowers sessile, ascending to spreading, not replaced by bulblets. Perianth 12–25 cm long, fused into a narrow tube in the lower half, the lobes linear, spreading, white. Broadly funnelform corona of petaloid tissue 3–4 cm long present inside the perianth lobes at the top of the perianth tube. Stamens 6, fused to the corona. Style 1, slender, the stigma capitate. Ovary inferior, with 3 locules, each with 2 ovules. Fruits ovoid, soft-walled capsules, 15–25 mm long. 2n=40, 52, 54. July–August.

Scattered in the Mississippi Lowlands Division and surrounding counties of southeastern Missouri (southeastern U.S. west to Missouri and Texas). Swamps and wet bottomland forests, sometimes persisting in open fields of cutover lands.

The beautiful flowers of the spider lily have a strong fragrance, and the species sometimes is cultivated as an ornamental. The seeds are relatively large, soft, and light green, and the capsules frequently appear lumpy because of uneven seed development in each locule.



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