Crinum americanum (Southern swamp lily, Seven sisters, String lily, American crinum lily)
is an aquatic flowering plant of the family Amaryllidaceae, native to southeastern North America, from Texas to South Carolina, Mexico, Cuba, Jamaica, and the Cayman Islands. The species is an immersed plant that is frequently found growing in swamps, marshes, and wet hammocks.
is a perennial plant with an onion-like, fleshy bulb, 7.5-11.5 cm thick. It usually grows in small clumps in still water habitats. The strap-like leaves are 30-120 cm long and 5-7.5 cm wide, erect and spreading, and arise directly from the bulb. The flowers arise from the bulb on a long flower stalk that is separated from the leaves. The flower stalk is 30-100 cm tall, 2.5 cm in diameter, with 2-6 flowers forming a showy umber at the tip. The fragrant flowers are white, or white and pink. There are 6 separated petals, each 7.5-10 cm long and 1.25 cm wide, joined at the base forming a long tube, 10-15 cm long. The upper half of the stamen is purple, with the purple anthers extending out as the sepals curve backward. The inflorescence is an umbel that opens from the outside inwards. The fruit is a capsule, 3.8 -5 cm thick, containing large, fleshy seeds.
grows well in full sun to partial shade, in soils that are kept moderately moist. It is an attractive plant when used as an edge or border around a pool of water. Propagation is by division of offsets and by seeds.
Gerald J. Lenhard