Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Spider Lily

These are from last year at this time... and guess what. They are right on time. I took a few more pics of the same in the last days, and nice dress shoes are still stinking wet from wading into the bog to take them. I guess I should carry sneakers with me.
Spider Lily, or -- my name: "Gothic Bride"
Hymenocallis occidentalis or
Hymenocallis caroliniana
family: Liliaceae

All pics 5/12/2005 - in the empty field across from the Dave Ward Walmart in Conway, AR

Turns out there are several different flowers of quite different appearance (but belonging to the lily family) that claim the name "Spider lily" -- and this is one of them. Scientific name is either Hymenocallis occidentalis (see : http://www.briartech.com/summer/slily/slily.htm ) or Hymenocallis caroliniana (see: http://www.2bnthewild.com/plants/H22.htm ).

Concerning the name, the folks at 2-bn-the- wild write: Hymenocallis means "beautiful membrane" which refers to the the corona that connects the stalks of the stamens for a portion of their length. This is a large spectacular flower that is exciting to find unexpectedly.

I concur. First time I saw one I was so "startled" that I thought it must be fake. But it didn't feel like plastic... or even a regular flower. In keeping with its swampy nature, it felt kind of sticky and damp, like wilted cabbage.

This lily is built on a symmetry of six. Six Stamen, six petals, six corona sections.


Marvin said...

Twas, indeed, a great find. Not what I'd normally expect to discover across the street from Wally World. Thanks for sharing your great photos.

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