Crinum Asiaticum

Crinum Asiaticum image by Drew Avery/Flickr


Crinum asiaticum (Poison Bulb) is a large plant with white flowers and straplike leaves. It is a slow-growing, long-lived plant native to tropical Asia.


The dark green leaves of Crinum asiaticum grow 3 feet long and form an erect rosette. The plant grows 5 to 6 feet tall and 5 to 7 feet wide. The bulb of the plant may weigh up to 20 lbs. The white flowers are mildly fragrant. Crinum asiaticum will flower year round, if the plant is not killed by freezing temperatures. The globe-shaped fruit contains large seeds.


Variegatum is a smaller plant with white stripes on the leaves. Sunray has yellow stripes, while Starstruck has yellow dots: both of these are rare.


Crinum asiaticum can be used as a specimen plant or in a perennial bed. It can be grown as a houseplant in a bright room with a cool nighttime temperature (55 degrees F).


Crinum asiaticum grows in full sun or partial shade. It tolerates poor soil and is drought tolerant, but will also grow in brackish water. It grows in USDA zones 9 to 11. It is root hardy in zone 8, where the top is killed by frost, but will return in the spring. Crinum asiaticum can be divided in the winter when it is not actively growing.


Although the crushed leaves of Crinum asiaticum are used for aches and sores in Asia, all parts of the plant are poisonous. The sap may cause skin irritation. It causes stomach discomfort if ingested. Check with a licensed medical practitioner before using this or any other natural treatment.

Keywords: Crinum asiaticum, crinum, poison bulb

About this Author

Melody Lee began working as a reporter and copywriter for the "Jasper News" in 2004 and was promoted to editor in 2005. She also edits magazine articles and books. Lee holds a degree in landscape design, is a Florida Master Gardener, and has more than 25 years of gardening experience.

Photo by: Drew Avery/Flickr