Hymenocallis (Peruvian Daffodil)

Q: This plan was given to my wife from a friend’s mother’s garden in Jacksonville. It sat in the ground without blooming for a couple of years, was transplanted, and didn’t bloom for a couple more years. It finally bloomed this week in Canton, Georgia. Any idea what it is?

A: You have one of the Hymenocallis (Peruvian daffodil, spider lily) species. My friend Scott Ogden says that although there are other plants that are called spider lily, Hymenocallis is the only one that really looks like a spider!

There are several species and cultivars, some of which are winter-hardy in Georgia and some of which must be brought in after the first frost.

Since yours has survived and bloomed, it must be one of the hardy ones. Don’t worry if the flower stem (with seed pods) droops during the day. Notice that it falls in different places each time – distributing seeds around the mother plant.

Watch for hawkmoths, which resemble olive-green hummingbirds, visiting the fragrant, nectar-filled flowers each evening.

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