Hymen Flowers

Hymen flowers (aka Hymenocallis) are still going, as the Northern Mexican species now perfume the garden. The genus begins flowering in spring, and if you grow a wide range of species, you can have flowers until late summer/early fall. Here’s a photo we recently took of Hymenocallis pimana in the garden.  While many hymenocallis prefer very moist soils, we grow this in a dry bed with agaves and cactus.  Starting in early evening, the flowers emit a honeysuckle-like fragrant to lure evening moths for reproductive activities. While we also like the more commonly sold Dutch hybrids, which are actually intergeneric crosses with the South American Ismene, we think the North American native species are far superior as garden plants, so we’ve always wondered why these don’t sell nearly as well as they should. 

12 thoughts on “Hymen Flowers

  1. Because I’ve never heard of then before. But night scented, honeysuckle fragrance, dry bed? I think I can find a place for them.

  2. These look very much like the St. Nicholas Spider Lily
    Hymenocallis harrisiana, I have in my garden. They a variety from Mexico I think. They don’t bloom until late Sept or Oct here in Houston. I love them!

  3. Wow! This species is beautiful and grows dry! Forgive this post’s length but I’ve recently been thinking about this genus & (maybe) I can speak well on it. The main thing was I lacked much/any knowledge about them. I recently got Scott Ogden’s “Garden Bulbs for the South” and it opened my eyes to the incredible diversity of species, particularly those from the South! I used to think, from reading something, somewhere, that a) they were marginally hardy at best (I garden in a somewhat colder part of 7b about two hours NE of y’all in VA) and b) they were also strictly marginal – as in bog – plants. Put together and I figured that they wouldn’t last the winter unless I could create a position constantly moist in summer, very dry in winter – hard to do and hard to choose to do for the budget-restricted, young (age 24) gardener. Anyway, any considerations of offering it in the future, like next year? I’ve been on a hardy amaryllid-collecting kick the last year and a half.

  4. Hymenocallis ‘New Lion’ and H. traubii have bloomed beautifully in my garden this summer. I’d love to get hold of H. pygmaea if you decide to offer it again.

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