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Crinum americanum (American crinum lily)
Bloodworth, Stefan

Crinum americanum

Crinum americanum L.

American Crinum Lily, Seven Sisters, Swamp Lily, Southern Swamp Lily, String Lily, Crinum Lily

Liliaceae (Lily Family)

Synonym(s): Crinum floridanum, Crinum strictum, Crinum strictum var. traubii

USDA Symbol: cram2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Swamp lilies are erect plants that grow in small clumps. The leaves grow directly from the bulb and are 2-4 feet long and 2-3 inches wide. The flower stem is about 1 inch in diameter, 2-3 feet tall, with 2-6 flowers forming a showy umbel at the top. The fragrant flowers are white, sometimes marked with pink. The sepals are 3-4 inches long and 1/2 inch wide. They are joined at the base, forming a long tube, but curve backward at the end to form a ball-shaped blossom. The upper half of the stamen is purple, with purple anthers extending out from the blossom as the sepals curve backward.

Some authorities place this beautiful flower in the amaryllis family instead of the lily family. It differs from many lilies in that its floral parts are attached above the ovary rather than below.


From the Image Gallery

34 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 3 feet tall.
Flower: Flowers 4 inches.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov
Bloom Notes: May flower year-round in Florida.


USA: AL , AR , FL , GA , LA , MS , NC , SC , TX
Native Distribution: N. FL, w. to s.e. coastal TX
Native Habitat: Freshwater marshes; cypress swamps, ditch & lake edges

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Wet
Soil Description: Wet, rich soils. Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay, Acid-based, Calcareous.
Conditions Comments: Not fussy about the amount of sun or shade it gets. Will bloom in deep shade. Freezes back to water level in winter, but greens up again immediately.


Use Ornamental: Water garden, Bog or pond area, Aromatic, Blooms ornamental
Conspicuous Flowers: yes

National Wetland Indicator Status

Status: OBL
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Texas Discovery Gardens - Dallas, TX
Crosby Arboretum - Picayune, MS


Bibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 248 - Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide (1984) Loughmiller, C. & L. Loughmiller

Search More Titles in Bibliography

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

Research Literature

Reslit 224 - Removal of aqueous selenium by four aquatic plants (2001) K. M. Carvalho and D. F. Martin
Reslit 661 - Response of selected nontarget native Florida wetland plant species to metsulfuron methyl (2008) J. T. Hutchinson and K. A. Langeland
Reslit 789 - Foods of white-tailed deer in the Florida Everglades: The significance of Crinum (2003) R. F. Labisky, C. C. Hurd, M. K. Oli and R. Barwic...

This information was provided by the Florida WIldflower Foundation.
Search More Titles in Research Literature

Additional resources

USDA: Find Crinum americanum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Crinum americanum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Crinum americanum


Record Modified: 2023-02-01
Research By: TWC Staff

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