Spider lily blooming in April in IISc’s nursery

Resembling a spider, this lily belongs to the group of bulbous and tuberous plants, botanical name: Hymenocallis speciosa.

Hymenocallis speciosa is a species in the genus Hymenocallis which contains approximately 75 to 84 species and belongs to the family of the Amaryllidaceae (Amaryllis Family).

The Hymenocallis/spider lily is named from the Greek word hymen, which means membrane, and callos, which means beauty. This name refers to the thin membrane connecting the filaments of the flower. The genus Hymenocallis is native to the New World, occurring from the lower Mississippi Valley and Southern United States through Central America and the Carribean. The flowers of Hymenocallis are white, with a pronounced staminal cup and narrow tepal segments (petals and sepals).

The exotic white flowers have extremely long, hanging petals with a central staminal cup formed from the membranes of the staminodes. The name Hymenocallis means ‘beautiful membrane’. Flowers open in the evening emitting their perfume overnight and generally last 2 to 3 days.

April 7, 2018.