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Hymenocallis occidentalis var. occidentalis

Carolina spiderlily add to wishlist

Plant types and subtypes: Perennials, Bulbs

Light Requirements: sun, part-sun

Water Use: high

Soil Moisture: moist, wet

Soil Description: acid, rich, loam, clay, sand

Height: 1.5'-2'

Bloom Time: May, June, July, August, September

Bloom Color: white

Leaf Color: green

Hardiness Zone: 6, 7, 8

Additional Tags: bog plant, clumping, emergent, fragrant flowers, ornamental foliage, pond margin plant, rare, stream margin plant, swamp plant, water garden plant, wetland plant

Hymenocallis caroliniana (Carolina spiderlily)
  • Hymenocallis caroliniana (Carolina spiderlily)
  • Hymenocallis caroliniana (Carolina spiderlily)
  • Hymenocallis caroliniana (Carolina spiderlily)

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Hymenocallis occidentalis var. occidentalis

Also known as:

Carolina spiderlily


shoals spiderlily




Carolina spider-lily


rain lily

Scientific Synonyms:

Hymenocallis caroliniana, Hymenocallis bidentata, Hymenocallis moldenkiana, Pancratium carolinianum


Hymenocallis occidentalis var. occidentalis is a clump forming, medium height plant with flowering stems growing up to 2' tall. The green, blade-like foliage is typical of most lilies, but is somewhat more succulent than most. Each stem will produce a cluster of white, fragrant flowers. They are trumpet-shaped (resembling morning glories), with long, forward facing spurs giving them a spidery appearance, hence the common name "spider lily".


Carolina spiderlily is an emergent bulb, meaning it can withstand regular periods fully submerged. It can be grown in more typical garden environments so long as the soil is never allowed to dry out. Locations in full to part-sun are best. It is slow to spread vegetatively, and even slower by seed. It is ideal for use around a small pond or water garden, where its non aggressive nature will allow it to be mixed with other emergent species. The foliage will die back after flowering, by early fall. Bloom times will vary depending on geographic location, from May to September. Zones 6-8


It is best to propagate by clump division, and separation of bulbs from mature plants. Can be propagated from seed, but germination rates are low, and new plants can take over 3 years to produce flowers flowers.

Additional Notes

This species provides quite a show when naturalized, but should be considered rare and should never be collected in the wild.

Native Range & Classification

Recorded County Distribution: USDA data

Native Range:

USDA Endangered Status:

  • Endangered: GA


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 Hymenocallis spiderlily
Species Hymenocallis occidentalis var. occidentalis Carolina spiderlily