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Plant Profile: Himalyan Lily (Cardiocrinum giganteum)

Cardiocrinum_giganteum Photo by Lokal_Profil Wikipedia CommonsThis giant lily is awesome but takes time and patience to realize its potential. Although a true lily it lacks the strap-like leaves of its relatives and has heart-shaped glossy leaves up to eighteen inches wide, diminishing in size with height on the stem. Up to twenty fragrant white flowers appear in mid- to late summer. The flowers are trumpet shaped, up to six inches long, and have reddish purple staining in the throat. The plant producing the flowering stem dies after flowering but produces up to six offsets that will that will repeat the cycle and flower in two to three years. To maximize the effect, plant bulbs every year for several years so that you have a succession of blooms.

Type: Summer bulb

Bloom: Fragrant white flowers six inches wide with reddish purple staining in the throat, in mid- to late summer

Size: 13’ H

Light: Dappled shade

Soil: Fertile, organic, moist, well-drained

Hardiness: Zones 7-9

Care: Create cool moist soil by digging in large amount of organic matter to a depth of 24 inches; keep roots cool with the shade of other plants or mulch

Pests and Diseases: Slugs

Propagation: Offsets, seed (seedlings take up to eight year to flower)

Companion plants: Rhododendron, azalea, camellias, astilbes, primulas

Photo: Wikipedia Commons

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