Pied Beauty

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)

Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:

Praise him.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Galveston Spider Lily

Hymenocallis galvestonensis or H. occidentalis. Indestructible.  Beautiful.  Vigorous.  Southern.  Galveston Spider Lily is a traditional passalong plant, native to the Gulf Coast region of the US and performing well in almost any garden.  It is a member of the amaryllis family (the leaves are very similar) but the flower blooms later, once warm weather sets in.  Spider Lily forms large clumps and is difficult to subdivide -- the deep-rooted bulbs are large and bulky, rather like a crinum.

I have grown this plant in full shade, full sun and everything in between.  For me, it does best with morning sun and afternoon shade.  (The afternoon sun bleaches the foliage a bit in my garden.)  Frosts and freezes will damage the foliage in the winter, but it rapidly grows back from that large root system.  After this winter's freeze, I separated mine - it was much easier without all the leaves!  Even after reducing the size of the mother plant by two-thirds, I still have all the Spider Lily I'll ever need.

Mostly evergreen, perennial, native to Texas, 3-4' tall and as wide as you let it grow.  Tolerates boggy conditions, light shade, clay soil.  No disease problems.  Only insect problem I've observed: snails.  Available from grandmothers and garden clubs.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, Elizabeth, this just opened in my garden and I absolutely love it! I posted about it on Monday: I thought it was a crinum until it bloomed. I'm still trying to figure out where I got it!