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Amianthium muscitoxicum

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Plant types and subtypes: Perennials, Bulbs

Light Requirements: part-sun, part-shade

Water Use: medium, high

Soil Moisture: moist

Soil Description: acid, rich, average, poor

Height: 1'-2'

Bloom Time: April, May, June

Bloom Color: white, green

Leaf Color: green

Hardiness Zone: 6, 7, 8

Additional Tags: clumping, colonizing, poisonous, showy fruit

Amianthium muscitoxicum (fly poison)
  • Amianthium muscitoxicum (fly poison)
  • Flower of Amianthium muscitoxicum (fly poison)
  • Flower of Amianthium muscitoxicum (fly poison)
  • Flower of Amianthium muscitoxicum (fly poison)

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Description

Amianthium muscitoxicum

Also known as:

fly poison

,

flypoison

,

crow poison

Scientific Synonyms:

Amianthium muscaetoxicum, Chrosperma muscitoxicum, Zigadenus muscitoxicus

Description

Amianthium muscitoxicum has drooping basal foliage. The white flowers are reminiscent of those of the hyacinth and develop atop bare stems reaching 2' feet or more. The blooms give way to bright orange fruit.

Cultivation

Best grown in part shade, it can tolerate more light in cooler areas. It prefers slightly acidic soil but will grow in any average, moist soil. Bloom times will vary within its range from April to May. Zones 6-8

Propagation

It is easiest to propagate by bulb separation when the plant is dormant. It may also be propagated by planting the seeds as soon as they ripen, though this can prove to be difficult.

Additional Notes

The botanical name "muscitoxicum" literally means poisonous to flies. By crushing the bulbs and mixing sugar in with the pulp, one can obtain a very effective fly poison. All parts of the plant are toxic.

Native Range & Classification

Recorded County Distribution: USDA data

Native Range:
AL, AR, DE, FL, GA, KY, LA, MD, MO, MS, NC, NJ, NY, OK, PA, SC, TN, VA, WV

USDA Endangered Status:

  • Threatened: KY

Classification

Kingdom Plantae Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta Flowering plants
Class Liliopsida Monocotyledons
Subclass Liliidae
Order Liliales
Family Liliaceae Lily family
Genus Amianthium amianthium
Species Amianthium muscitoxicum fly poison