Cardiocrinum - Garden Basics - Flower - Bulb

(C. giganteum)

Also known as "Giant Lily", this Asian native has flowers shaped like trumpet lilies as is very fragrant. The heart-shaped foliage distinguishes it from species of the genus Lilium. The Himalayan native C. giganteum is most commonly cultivated and is pictured at left.

C. giganteum prefers light shade and good moisture and is perfect for a woodland setting. It is spectacular in flower, having as many as twenty pure white flowers with a hint of purple toward the base. Each flower can be six inches in diameter.


Plant the bulbs in the fall or early spring with the tops just at or below the soil surface. The bulbs send up nonflowering shoots each year, which then die back. After about four or five years, the stems will produce flowers and then the plant will die. It will leave several offsets in it's place which can become crowded if they are not lifted and divided when the main plant dies.

The plants grow well in shrub borders but they do not like to be grown in containers. In colder areas they will need protection, but with a heavy mulch they will grow well to zone 5

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