Cardiocrinum giganteum photographs

Cardiocrinum giganteum photographs

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Cardiocrinum giganteum

Published by Daniel Mosquin on July 25, 2013

Taisha is the author of today’s entry:

Today's images are of Cardiocrinum giganteum (image 1 | image 2), or the giant Himalayan lily. The first image of the species in blossom is from Safia girl @ Flickr and the second of the capsules is by Meighan @ Flickr. Both photos were submitted via the BPotD Flickr Pool. I wrote today’s entry after recently seeing an article about a plant at the University of Aberdeen’s Cruickshank Botanical Garden blossoming for the first (and only) time after seven years of growth.

The plant at Cruickshank Botanical Garden is Cardiocrinum giganteum var. yunnanense. It has been in the ground in the Garden for three years, having been planted as a four-year-old bulb. The 2-meter tall plant will apparently die after this blossom, but horticulturalists at Cruickshank Botanical Garden say they will attempt to regrow it from seed in hopes of seeing another flowering of this species in future years.

After reading this article, I realized we too have this species growing in the David C. Lam Asian Garden here at UBC. It blossomed about three weeks ago, although I wasn’t able to snap a picture. Our Cardiocrinum giganteum only stood a meter tall this year, though the Garden has a dried stem from a previous planting towering over 3 meters tall! It’s amazing to see how enormous this lily can get.

The giant Himalayan lily occasionally reaches up to 4 meters in height. The flowering stem carries leaves that are similar to those in the basal rosette of leaves. Trumpet-shaped flowers are white with stripes of red-purple. The fruit, as shown above, is a capsule holding reniform (or kidney-shaped) seeds.

Interesting that the flower in the Cruikshank Botanical Garden appears to be pale green, and above the flower appears to be pink.
I believe these also bloomed this year at the Rhododendron Species Garden in Federal Way, Washington.

We have had them for some time at VanDusen.

I remember cardiocrinum flowering in My grandparents garden on Banks Peninsula, Canterbury NZ, They also grow and flower freely in the Eastwoodhill Arboretum Gisborne NZ.

Only last weekend i went to see these at Crathes Castle, Aberdeenshire - flowers creamy white with dark pink throat. I’ve seen them at Crathes in previous years - this year they were actually 'advertising' them on boards as you approached the gardens.

At VanDusen this year the flowers on one stem were up some 10-feet in the air.
The visitors who saw it were wowed to see such a lily.

Why not explain to us the differences between the known cultivars, species and other clones?

Another common name in wide circulation for this plant is Himalayan flute lily. The hollow stems are used to make musical instruments: the longer the stem, the deeper the pitch.

There are two known variations of Cardiocrinum giganteum, var. giganteum and var. yunnanense, differing from each other in a few ways. According to Bryan J. E. in Bulbs (1989), Cardiocrinum giganteum, var. giganteum is native to the Himalayan regions of Bhutan, Myanmar, India and Nepal growing at elevations of 2,100-3,400 meters, whereas Cardiocrinum giganteum var. yunnanense originates from China and prefers elevations of 1,200-3,600 meters. Var. yunnanense is not as tall as var. giganteum, has brown stems, and it’s also noted that the young foliage is bronze-tinted. In a publication by the Royal Horticulture Society (PDF), it is noted that var. giganteum flowers have less maroon coloring at the throat, are paler, and more pendulous. Also, it is said that var. giganteum'S flowers open from the bottom of the raceme upward, where var. yunnanense opens from the top down. The writer does note that it is difficult to tell whether it has opened from the top or the bottom.

We grow this lily in our back yard in Seattle, WA. Although each bulb is monocarpic so that when it blooms that bulb dies, it usually creates multiple offset bulbs, so is increasing for us nicely. Was getting too baked in the sun, but some other plants have grown up on the south side of it now, so it looks good for longer.

I live in Olympia (100km south of Seattle), Zone 7b. In the autumn of 2007 I purchased one bulb of this plant (var.yunnanense) for $ 16 – a price that made me follow the planting instructions (no direct sun) and devise special protections against burrowing animals when I finally did plant it in the spring of 2008. That year it produced only basal foliage, and I was surprised to see it send up a 2m (6 ′) bloom stalk the next summer, 2009, and also produce 3 bulblets, which sprouted basal foliage in 2010.
The winter of 2010-11, a very harsh winter for plants here, introduced us to 8 seasons of unseasonable extremes in temperature and precip, including a destructive ice storm in Jan 2012. Nevertheless, by “Junuary” of our non-summer of 2012 the clump had put forth one 7 ′ bloom stalk. One morning just before it had fully opened I went to photograph it and found the top flowering section broken off the main part of the stalk and lying on the ground! We suspect it was hit by an animal – anything ranging from a deer to our new kitten, who liked to take flying leaps at any erect object – and the warmth-deprived stalk was too weak to hold up the moisture-laden flowers.
Happily for the gardener, 2013 has brought us a mild winter, a “normal” spring, and a beautiful early summer. And the giant Himalayan lily produced 3 flower stalks, one nearly 8 ′ tall, which bloomed at the same time that our Dracunculus vulgaris (aroid), just a short distance away, produced 3 massive purple spathe-and-spadix flowers, the stench of which lasted only a couple of days, no match for the longer-lasting fragrance of the lilies.
It looks like we’ll have to divide the lily clump soon there just isn’t room in that spot for 9 bulblets to mature and reproduce. I'm very pleased with this plant overall, it has been very easy to grow and should be included in the PNW's Great Plant Picks.

I live in Olympia (100km south of Seattle), Zone 7b. In the autumn of 2007 I purchased one bulb of this plant (var.yunnanense) for $ 16 – a price that made me follow the planting instructions (no direct sun) and devise special protections against burrowing animals when I finally did plant it in the spring of 2008. That year it produced only basal foliage, and I was surprised to see it send up a 2m (6 ′) bloom stalk the next summer, 2009, and also produce 3 bulblets, which sprouted basal foliage in 2010.
The winter of 2010-11, a very harsh winter for plants here, introduced us to 8 seasons of unseasonable extremes in temperature and precip, including a destructive ice storm in Jan 2012. Nevertheless, by “Junuary” of our non-summer of 2012 the clump had put forth one 7 ′ bloom stalk. One morning just before it had fully opened I went to photograph it and found the top flowering section broken off the main part of the stalk and lying on the ground! We suspect it was hit by an animal – anything ranging from a deer to our new kitten, who liked to take flying leaps at any erect object – and the warmth-deprived stalk was too weak to hold up the moisture-laden flowers.
Happily for the gardener, 2013 has brought us a mild winter, a “normal” spring, and a beautiful early summer. And the giant Himalayan lily produced 3 flower stalks, one nearly 8 ′ tall, which bloomed at the same time that our Dracunculus vulgaris (aroid), just a short distance away, produced 3 massive purple spathe-and-spadix flowers, the stench of which lasted only a couple of days, no match for the longer-lasting fragrance of the lilies.
It looks like we’ll have to divide the lily clump soon there just isn’t room in that spot for 9 bulblets to mature and reproduce. I'm very pleased with this plant overall, it has been very easy to grow and should be included in the PNW's Great Plant Picks.

A very belated comment - in one of Gertrude Jekyll's gardening books, she tells the story of how she had her gardeners elaborately prepare a bed for Cardiocrinum, and how miffed she was when a visitor some years later, looking at a magnificent stand of the giant lilies, said something like "Oh Miss Jekyll - you just pop something in the ground and it grows so well!"


The Giant Himalayan Lily - Cardiocrinum

Cardiocrinums are generally hardy, but may suffer a little frost damage with late spring frosts. Well worth protecting with horticultural fleece for late frost periods - or even a few conifer cut-offs placed against the emerging stem and foliage. The attractive foliage hearts are well worth the trouble. Depending upon variety, the leaves can be up to 18in (45cms) long - quite distinct from the closely related Lilies.

Cardiocrinum bulbs are normally available in early autumn, and should be planted right away. Plant with just a little soil over the top of the bulb. Some suggest leaving the nose of the bulb just proud of the soil surface. This is a mistake and that advice should not be followed.


Lilies forum → Cardiocrinum seeds

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When I was trying to find the Cardiocrinum germination mode, there seemed to be a lot of different opinions. I finally settled on (and it's just me talking here) that the seeds benefit from an after ripening, like most Fritillaria (another lily relative). So I would recommend in your climate, to plant them at room temperature for two weeks, then put outside in the garage (or similar temp) for 1 week, then outside in the cold for spring germination. Cardiocrinum germination is very sporadic, and you'll get more germinating from the same batch in years to come. So if anything does sprout in that first 3 weeks, you have the option of 1) growing them under lights, or 2) just ignoring the sprouts and still put outside, and new seeds (and likely more) will germinate in the spring. (Initial sprouts would probably die.)

I don't know about the species that you might have, but C. cathayanum purportedly has a very low germination rate, so I overlapped the seed by a half as they lie in the pot, covering the whole surface. Then I gently mixed them with the top quarter inch of soil, (lying flat they would impose a drainage barrier), and covered with another quarter inch of soil. In that 4x5in deep pot, that seemed to give me about 4-10 seedlings a year. Don't be too surprised if nothing comes up the first spring, but don't throw the pot out!

Even the C. cathayanum seedlings, supposedly more cold hardy than C. giganteum wouldn't make it through the winter here. I wasn't willing to bring the bulbs inside for the next 8-10 years that it would take to bloom in my climate, so I just gave the pot the same winter treatment as all my other materials. I had new sprouts for four springs, until the moss grew so thickly that I threw it out.


These are the seeds from one pod!


This is a comparison to oriental seed chaff. (the only thing I had laying around)
I'd say an OT seed would be a little bigger than the oriental but still small in comparison.


Cardiocrinum giganteum

Cardiocrinum giganteum, the giant Himalayan lily, is the largest species of any of the lily plants, growing up to 3.5 meters high. It is found in the Himalayas, China and Myanmar (Burma). [2]

  • C. giganteum var. giganteum - up to 3 meters tall, the outer part of the flower greenish and the inside streaked with purple - Tibet, Bhutan, Assam, Myanmar, Nepal, Sikkim
  • C. giganteum var. yunnanense - 1–2 meters tall, the outer part of the flower white and the inside streaked with purplish red - Myanmar, Gansu, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Yunnan

The plant was first described scientifically in 1824 by Nathaniel Wallich. [4] The species was introduced into commercial production (as Lilium giganteum) in Britain in the 1850s. A bulb grown from seed collected by Major Madden flowered in Edinburgh in July 1852, while those collected by Thomas Lobb were first exhibited in flower in May 1853. [5]


Cardiocrinum giganteum

Cardiocrinum giganteum is een lastige plant in cultuur. Ze komen uit de Himalaya. Ze verlangen een hoge relatieve luchtvochtigheid en haten hitte in de zomer. Meer iets voor Schotland of Wales en niet voor onze contreien. Bovendien zijn slakken dol op ze. Van zaadje tot eerste bloei duurt het gemakkelijk 6 tot 8 jaar.

Het embryo in het zaadje van Cardiocrinum is onderontwikkeld. Het zaadje heeft eerst een periode (paar maanden) van warmte (15-20 graden C.) nodig zodat het embryo zich kan ontwikkelen. Daarna heeft het zaadje een paar maanden koude (1-6 graden C.) nodig om tot ontkieming te komen. Het beste buiten zaaien zodat de zaden een natuurlijke warme + koude stratificatie krijgen. Het zaaisel afdekken met fijn grind om mosvorming en onkruid tegen te gaan. Cardiocrinum kiemt zeer onregelmatig en het is goed mogelijk dat sommige zaden pas na 2 cycli van warme / koude stratificatie kiemen.

Of oud zaad nog goed kiemt zou ik niet weten. Het grote probleem is dat je aan een zaadje niet kunt zien hoe oud het is en of het op de correcte manier bewaard is.

Precieze winterhardheid zou ik niet weten maar mijn inschatting is dat JONGE planten moeite hebben met een strenge winter.

Als je van een echte uitdaging houdt dan is het zaaien van Cardiocrinum giganteum een ​​before oefening.


Peak Season for Cardiocrinum

Cardiocrinum giganteum, the giant Himalayan lily

It is probably safe to say that Cardiocrinum are among our most popular plants at Heronswood, and with good reason. They are true show-stoppers. We point them out on every tour, in their various stages of development, encouraging visitors to come back in mid-June when they are in their full glory. We are at the tail end of peak bloom for Cardiocrinum giganteum var. yunnanense, but it's slightly less giant cousin, Cardiocrinum giganteum, is just beginning.

C. giganteum is almost identical to other Cardiocrinum prior to flowering but is distinct from var. yunnanense by its lack of a dark purple stem, and less of the pronounced, deep purple tint inside each lily-like flower. Each can send up flower stalks that reach well over 12 ', but we have noticed that C. giganteum are ever-so-slightly shorter than var. yunnanense, and C. cordatum, yet another species in the genus, is much shorter still at under 5 'in height. Annex Cardiocrinum are native to cool woodland understories in eastern Asia. Give any one of them dappled light and a rich soil and they will reward you generously.

One trait that all members of this genus share is that they are semi-monocarpic. A true monocarpic plant is one that exhausts all of its energy and dies after flowering (think bamboo). The gigantic flower stalks of Cardiocrinum do drain all of the energy stored in its lily-like bulb, and it can take roughly seven years for them to flower from seed, but they have a trick up their sleeve. At the base of each spent bulb can be found up to half a dozen small, clonal offshoots. We dig these up each fall and distribute them around the garden to ensure a steady show of these wonders for years to come.


Video: Giant Himalayan lily