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.