Cardiocrinum cf. cathayanum

Jim McKenney
Sun, 25 Jul 2004 22:38:24 PDT
Dear All:

My plant received as Cardiocrinum cordatum is blooming now; I've put three
pictures on the wiki; take a look at:…

This plant first bloomed in 2000, but I was in India at the time and did
not see the flowers in full bloom. At that time it was much smaller,
perhaps only fifteen inches high. A friend described the flowers as perhaps
three inches long and messy looking then. 

Now the plant is a bit bigger, and the more I look at it the more I think
it is really C. cathayanum. The foliage in particular answers to that
species, as do the low bud count and relatively short stature. The flowers
have a sweet fragrance.

The flowers have a very heavy texture and a zygomorphic symmetry rather
than the radial symmetry you would expect in a lily. 

This plant has none of the attenuated grace of some lilies, but
nevertheless it manages to be very appealing to me. It has a sturdy,
self-assured look; and with several years behind it in this garden, I'm
inclined to say it's presenting itself accurately. 

I'm really taken by this plant: a patch of these among Sarcococca, Skimmia,
Lycoris, ferns, hostas, hellebores and asarums would be a real treat. 

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where the heavy texture of
these flowers and buds gives them a quality which makes me think "sapid".
Has anyone tried them?

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