Hymenocallis – Ismene – Spider Lily – Filmy Lily – Sacred Lily of the Incas –
There are about 40 species of unusual bulbous perennials, some evergreen, in this genus. They occur in grassland and rocky habitats from Southern USA to South America. In spring, summer, or winter, they bear terminal umbels of deliciously fragrant flowers resembling spidery daffodils, each with 6 narrow petals, and a large cup, formed from the fused lower parts of the stamens. The anthers are attached to the cup and face inward. The leaves are basal, strap-shaped or oblong, and mid to dark green. Grow in a bed or border at the base of a warm, sunny wall, or in containers.
Plant bulbs in autumn with the neck and shoulder above soil level. Grow in moderately fertile, moist but well drained soil in sun or partial shade, when dormant, protect from excessive moisture.
Prone to red leaf spot and mosaic virus.
H. x festalis – This cross between H. longipetala and H. narcissiflora is an evergreen, bulbous perennial that grows 18-32″ tall. It produces semi erect, oblong, mid green, basal, glossy leaves, to 36″ long. From spring to summer it bears umbels of 2-5 scented white flowers, 3-5″ across, with long, narrow petals, and wide sups, the upper 3 stamens of each flower curve downward, the lower 3 are straight.