Hymenocallis liriosme
Common Name: spider lily 
Type: Bulb
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Native Range: Southeastern United States
Zone: 7 to 10
Height: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: July to August
Bloom Description: White with yellow-green eye
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Water Plant
Flower: Showy, Fragrant


This spider lily is best grown in humusy, fertile, consistently moist to wet soils in full sun to part shade. Plants will grow in up to 2" of standing water and will tolerate seasonal flooding, but will also perform well in moist upland soils. Soils must never be allowed to dry out. Plant bulbs in the garden in early spring with tips located about 1-3" below the soil surface. Space bulbs 12-24" apart. Bulbs may be grown in containers as above-ground container plants or with containers sunk into the soil to facilitate easier bulb removal for indoor overwintering. For containers, plant bulbs in spring with the necks of the bulbs slightly above the soil surface. Remove foliage after it turns brown (late summer). In USDA Zones 7-10, bulbs may remain in the ground over winter. North of USDA Zone 7 (which includes St. Louis), bulbs must be overwintered indoors, by either (1) digging the bulbs in fall before first frost with retention roots, drying them out and then storing them in dry peat at 55-69F, or (2) bringing containers indoors before the first fall frost and overwintering the containers in cool dry locations of 55-60 degrees F.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Hymenocallis liriosme is native to marsh and pond margins, swamps, alluvial woods and ditches from eastern Texas and Oklahoma to Alabama. It is a bulbous perennial of the amaryllis family that is grown primarily for its showy, sweetly fragrant, wide-spreading, white flowers. Plants typically grow to 1.5- 2' tall. Flowers bloom in summer atop leafless scapes rising from a basal clump of arching, linear, narrow, strap-shaped, glossy green leaves (each typically 1-3' long and to 1" wide). Each long-tubed flower (to 7" wide) features six narrow, spidery, petal-like segments (tepals) which radiate outward from a central, spreading, white staminal cup (corona) with a yellowish-green eye. Stamens rise up from the central cup. This species is also known as western marsh spider lily.

Genus name comes from the Greek words hymen meaning a membrane and kallos meaning beauty in allusion to the membrane uniting the stamens.

Specific epithet means fragrant lily.


No serious insect or disease problems. Snails, caterpillars and mealy bugs are occasional visitors.


Moist borders, bog gardens or along streams and ponds. Water gardens. May be grown in borders as long as the soil moisture requirements can be met. Containers. Tropical appearance.