En EspaÑol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?


Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - November 28, 2010

From: Fayetteville, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Comparison of native and non-native bulbs from Fayetteville NC
Answered by: Barbara Medford


I am just a gardener seeking natives. As I could not find Crinum americanum bulbs/plants specifically, I checked further online. Here's an excerpt of what I found from the Louisiana Native Plant Society: Garden Bulbs for the South. Ogden states there are two look-alike Crinums. One is native but rare in cultivation because of its need for wet conditions (Crinum americanum), and a tropical drylander (Crinum erubescens), which is often sold as Crinum americanum ‘Robustum.’ The only difference that readily distinguishes between them is that the native is an aquatic or boggy condition grower, the tropical South American species will not grow in water, but in ordinary garden conditions. This is not the only parallel to species in the Southern United States and in subtropical South America where similar climatic conditions occur. My conclusions: I do not have the native Crinum americanum of the Gulf Coast and South Atlantic Coast. But what I have is a beautiful plant, well worth the little effort in growing. Thought you might want to know.


Congratulations on being a gardener seeking natives. In your discussion on the native Crinum americanum (Crinum lily) and the non-native Crinum erubescens, your facts are correct. The Native Plant Police will not be out to ticket you for permitting a non-native into your garden; even the most fervent native plant gardeners are sometimes guilty of allowing a lavender to sneak in or perhaps an old rose. Our main concern is that we not allow non-native invasives to take over and crowd out the native species in the garden.

Images of Crinum erubescens from Google.

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:

Crinum americanum

Crinum americanum

Crinum americanum

Crinum americanum





More Non-Natives Questions

Deer eating Non-native Asiatic Jasmine in Georgetown, TX
October 22, 2015 - Is there a spray or granular material that will prevent deer from eating asiatic jasmine?
view the full question and answer

Is Thyme Toxic to Cats?
April 15, 2015 - Is 'Pink Chintz' thyme, the ground cover, toxic to cats?
view the full question and answer

Deadheading cannas and geraniums
August 17, 2007 - I'm new to gardening. Your help would be appreciated. 1) I think I read that canna flowers can be deadheaded so they will continue to bloom throughout the summer. What part is actually taken off? ...
view the full question and answer

Aphids in non-native crape myrtles in Austin
August 19, 2009 - What is the least toxic way of getting rid of aphids? They are on a crapemyrtle and I do not think it will hold up to really forceful water spray. Due to the drought in Central Texas, our St. Augus...
view the full question and answer

Pruning and deadheading rosa rugosa while blooming
August 01, 2008 - Can you prune the dead flowers and branches of rosa rogosa while it is still blooming?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center