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Hymenocallis occidentalis var. occidentalis (Northern spiderlily)
Clagett, Marjorie

Hymenocallis occidentalis var. occidentalis

Hymenocallis occidentalis (Leconte) Kunth var. occidentalis

Northern Spiderlily, Carolina Spiderlily

Liliaceae (Lily Family)

Synonym(s): Hymenocallis bidentata, Hymenocallis caroliniana, Hymenocallis moldenkiana, Pancratium carolinianum


USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Carolina Spider-lily is a smooth, fleshy or succulent perennial,1 1/2 - 2 1/2 ft. tall. Fragrant, white, spider-like, blossoms, up to 7 in. across, occur in clusters of up to six at the top of leafless stalks. The leaves are pale-green, shiny, and up to 2 ft. long.


From the Image Gallery

6 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 30 inches tall.
Leaf: Green

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep


USA: AL , AR , GA , IL , IN , KY , LA , MO , MS , NC , OK , SC , TN , TX
Native Distribution: S. IN to s. MO, s. to the Gulf
Native Habitat: Swamps; moist fields; bottomlands

Growing Conditions

Water Use: High
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Wet
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Sandy, wet soils.
Conditions Comments: One bulb will multiply to form a dense clump. Good in wet, boggy settings and in water gardens. Foliage dies back in mid-summer.


Use Wildlife: Poisonous to many animals.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes


Description: Divide small bulbs from base of mature bulbs. Can also be propagated by seed planted shallowly.
Commercially Avail: yes


Bibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski

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Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Hymenocallis occidentalis var. occidentalis in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Hymenocallis occidentalis var. occidentalis in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Hymenocallis occidentalis var. occidentalis


Record Modified: 2023-02-14
Research By: Joseph A. Marcus

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