Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Alligator Lily, Alligatorlily, Spider Lily
Hymenocallis palmeri

Family: Amaryllidaceae (am-uh-ril-id-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Hymenocallis (hy-men-oh-KAL-is) (Info)
Species: palmeri (PALM-er-ee) (Info)

Synonym:Hymenocallis humilis

4 members have or want this plant for trade.

Ponds and Aquatics

12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Flowers are fragrant
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings
Very high moisture needs; suitable for bogs and water gardens

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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to view:

By dmj1218
Thumbnail #1 of Hymenocallis palmeri by dmj1218

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2 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Floridalady13 On Jul 8, 2013, Floridalady13 from Coral Springs, FL wrote:

Originally this plant, I was told is from the Florida keys. Out of curiosity the person who gave it to me said he wanted to see what kind of flower will come out from this bulb that he brought from one of the isolated little islands in the keys where he was fishing with friends, and I planted, that was four years ago, and since about this time of year it blooms. At the time, he said there where no flowers around, only this little plants here and there. The flowers are exquisite and beautiful. Until now I never searched what kind of plant I had with this beautiful flower.

Positive NativePlantFan9 On Mar 7, 2005, NativePlantFan9 from Boca Raton, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

Alligator Lily or Alligatorlily (Hymenocallis palmeri) is an upright perennial flowering Spider Lily. It is native and endemic to wet open prairies, marshes, ditches, wet roadsides, marls and cypress swamps from central Florida south to the southernmost point on the peninsula (zones 9a to 10b). It is found throughout the Everglades region.

It can be distinguished from the very common and also native Crinum Lily (Crinum americanum) by it's more upright form and usually single, larger white flower, unlike the smaller, more droopy, white cluster flowers of the Crinum, which is found in many of the same habitats.

The beautiful, single, large white flower of the Alligator Lily attracts insects. It may be useful for wildlife.

Synonyms are Hymenocallis humilis S.Watson.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Clermont, Florida
Houston, Texas

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