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Crinum kirkii - Pajama Lily

This is a rare look at the beautiful Crinum kirkii - known as the Pajama Lily.  This East African Amaryllis relative sends up gorgeous, candy-striped flowers each summer.  The plant is so eye-catching, it was once used to mark boundaries in the African grassland.  Today it is rarely seen in cultivation.  I don't know anyone else offering it.

Crinum kirkii - Pajama Lily

Photo by Stan Shebs

Crinum kirkii is a summer-growing species that goes dormant in winter.  It forms a large bulb over time, and long, low-growing leaves that get to about 3 feet long.  In the summer, it sends up 1 to 3 flower stalks, each about 1.5 feet tall.  The festive blooms are 5 inches long and are crisp white with streaks of pink or peppermint red.  There are about 12 to 15 of these blooms per scape.  Like most true species of Crinum, it does not multiply by making offsets, only by seeds.

Crinum kirkii - Pajama Lily

Crinum kirkii is easy to grow.  The bulb probably can take winter temperatures in the low 20s (-6 degrees C) if planted deep and kept dry, but i recommend protecting it from frost the first few years.  It has handled temperatures in the mid-80s (30 degrees C), but i have no information about warmer conditions.  If you grow it in a pot, use a tall one, because the bulb tends to bury itself deep.  It likes well-draining soil, and consistent watering.  It prefers mostly-sunny condition.  It might need a little shade from hot afternoon sun in some areas.  Avoid transplanting the bulb when it nears flowering size.

Crinum kirkii - Pajama Lily

 

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