Ismene Species, Peruvian Daffodil, Spider Lily

Ismene deflexa

Family: Amaryllidaceae (am-uh-ril-id-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Ismene (iz-me-nee) (Info)
Species: deflexa (de-FLEKS-uh) (Info)
Synonym:Ismene x deflexa
Synonym:Hymenocallis deflexa
Synonym:Hymenocallis festalis
Synonym:Ismene festalis
View this plant in a garden



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun





Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


12-15 in. (30-38 cm)


USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us



Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are fragrant

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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:

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Alabaster, Alabama

Auburn, Alabama

New Market, Alabama

Pleasant Grove, Alabama

Vincent, Alabama

Flagstaff, Arizona

Mesa, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona(2 reports)

Tolleson, Arizona

Booneville, Arkansas

Paris, Arkansas

Anderson, California

Coronado, California

Forestville, California


Laguna Niguel, California

Lindsay, California

Merced, California

Pleasant Hill, California

Sacramento, California

San Diego, California

Santa Ana, California

Alamosa, Colorado

Bartow, Florida

Brandon, Florida

Brooksville, Florida

Cape Coral, Florida

Clearwater, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

New Port Richey, Florida

Old Town, Florida

Oldsmar, Florida

Orlando, Florida

Panama City, Florida

Umatilla, Florida

Braselton, Georgia

Cordele, Georgia

Hahira, Georgia

Stone Mountain, Georgia

Woodstock, Georgia

Divernon, Illinois

Delhi, Iowa

Derby, Kansas

Gardner, Kansas

Hebron, Kentucky

Lafayette, Louisiana

Montegut, Louisiana

Paulina, Louisiana

Baltimore, Maryland

Cumberland, Maryland

Edgewater, Maryland

Pikesville, Maryland

Lowell, Massachusetts

Allen Park, Michigan

Dearborn Heights, Michigan

Columbia, Mississippi

Ecru, Mississippi

Saint Joseph, Missouri

Springfield, Missouri

Campton, New Hampshire

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Las Cruces, New Mexico

Southold, New York

Utica, New York

Concord, North Carolina

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Louisburg, North Carolina

Broken Arrow, Oklahoma(2 reports)

Norman, Oklahoma

Sasakwa, Oklahoma

Albany, Oregon

Coos Bay, Oregon

Lebanon, Oregon

Millersburg, Oregon

Portland, Oregon

Salem, Oregon

Conway, South Carolina

North Augusta, South Carolina

Summerville, South Carolina

Sumter, South Carolina

Knoxville, Tennessee

Rockwood, Tennessee

Arlington, Texas

Austin, Texas

Corpus Christi, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas

Houston, Texas(3 reports)

Irving, Texas

Jacksonville, Texas

Kemp, Texas

Lubbock, Texas

Mc Kinney, Texas

Murchison, Texas

New Caney, Texas

Palestine, Texas

Plano, Texas

Round Top, Texas

San Antonio, Texas(2 reports)

Spring, Texas

Wylie, Texas

Salt Lake City, Utah

Honaker, Virginia

Cathan, Washington

Chewelah, Washington

John Sam Lake, Washington

Kalama, Washington

North Marysville, Washington

Priest Point, Washington

Shaker Church, Washington

Stimson Crossing, Washington

Weallup Lake, Washington

Parkersburg, West Virginia

Tomahawk, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Aug 31, 2017, LucasCatChow from Tulsa, OK wrote:

This is a strange little plant for me.. It sends up leaves about mid summer every year but blooms only occasionally. I grow it on the east side of the house, so it gets shade from mid afternoon on. I give it no extra care. It takes up little space and the leaves always look nice, so it really doesn't bother me that it doesn't bloom more often. I'm in zone 7a, and our winters may have something to do with how it blooms. When it does bloom it is a cause for celebration. The snow white flowers with their spidery tendrils look very unique indeed.


On Oct 24, 2015, Hawkmistress from Aptos, CA wrote:

I "inherited" this bulb as part of a raised-bed garden. It has bloomed beautifully about mile or mile and a half away from Monterey Bay between Santa Cruz and Watsonville. After four years the bulb began making bulblets, and this year I realize I need to dig it up after the leaves die back, and separate the new bulbs/bulblets. Then replant into pots, and/or give away.

It is a bulb I hope to always have in my garden, or potted on the patio. Delightful fragrance!
Drawback: Snails really like the flower, and will eat it before the bloom opens.


On Oct 25, 2014, DavidLMo from St Joseph, MO wrote:

I grew 5 in 3 containers. 1 each in 2 - 5 inch containers. 3 in a 8 inch pot. All bloomed fine on my deck here in Northwest Missouri Zone 5 b. They really are quite spectacular, but the bloom does not last long enough. :-(

Mildly fragrant. Lovely foliage. Hope the bulbs store well as they were relatively expensive.


On Sep 2, 2014, cheri96 from El Paso, TX wrote:

When I saw these at the local WalMart, I was intrigued. I truly wondered if they would bloom here in the desert. I gave it a try and they all bloomed! I have had complete strangers walk by and ask me what they were. They bloomed later here than all of my other bulbs so they really classed up my flower beds. One of them is multiplying so I hope to have some to trade here on this site.


On Jun 21, 2014, eolivas103 from Las Cruces, NM (Zone 8a) wrote:

I inherited 2 clumps of Peruvian Daffodil's when we bought a house that had sat vacant for 5 months. I mention that because these things survived through the heat of Summer without being watered outside of rain showers (which are not frequent in this area). Now I don't think they would take that abuse forever. They like and need water to be their best, but I mention that because they are quite hardy. The next year we had once in a blue moon freezing temperatures and we hit 0 degrees several days in a row. And yes, they survived that as well. I receive many compliments from visitors about them. They like the leaves. The leaves have that tropical flair. I do want to stress though that they can really take over a space if you let them. My two clumps are 3 ft in diameter and then if ... read more


On Jan 6, 2014, cynthia94941 from Tamalpais-Homestead Valley, CA wrote:

I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, near the coast. I planted these probably 15 years ago, and in all that time, I've had one flower. I get lots of foliage, but no flowers. The bulbs have multiplied like crazy, and last year I sent off a bunch of them to a friend in Las Vegas. They grew very well for her, so this year I dug up all the rest of them and mailed them to her. At least this way I get to see pictures of the flowers. :(


On Jul 11, 2013, Texas_Lady from Seven Points, TX wrote:

I don't know where I got this plant. It was growing in my flower bed. I have had it for a long time. Don't remember How long.
I first transplanted it to a large square pot. It grew in the full morning sun. It out grew that pot before end of summer. I separated it . I ended up with 8 plants. I planted it in several pots and different part of the yard in flower beds.. This plant was in morning sun and afternoon sun. it has done well here in Kemp Texas. With lots of water it grows and multiplies and blooms. With little water it just grows blooms or few blooms. Last year it did so well I gave about 15 starter plants away free. I have two in the same spot for about 4 years, part shade and part afternoon sun. It is huge looks good with just foliage.. Last year I only had a... read more


On May 16, 2011, TexasGeek from Irving, TX wrote:

I bought a pack of three late last spring at the mark down bin at WalMart because the flowers looked very exotic in the picture. All three came up and bloomed last year. This year the plants are twice as big as last year. Hopefully they will have alot more flowers this year.


On May 15, 2010, Orchid398 from Springfield, MO wrote:

I grew mine in a small pot with every intention of selling it as a started bud... I got too busy with other projects so I never got around to it and now I have 4 blooming flowers on the daffodil and I love it. I would put it in a larger pot but at this point, I really don't want to disturb the roots.
I'm going to keep this flower and grow it every year for as many years as it can.

Is it true that the blooms last only for a week?


On May 21, 2009, turektaylor from Elizabeth City, NC (Zone 8a) wrote:

just a wonderful harbinger of spring !! , especially after this unusually frigid winter . it's amazing that such a dainty looking flower has such a hardy 'soul'. a real stunner in any garden, foliage included.


On May 19, 2009, Cruxcorvus from Tomahawk, WI wrote:

I also purchased the bulbs from Wal-mart about 3 years ago. Because I live in northern Wisconsin, I lift the bulbs every year and store in my basement. The first two years, there was nothing but about 12 inches of foliage but this year I started the bulb under a grow light in March and the plant is 3 feet tall and outside in a pot right now in full bloom! It was untouched by the cold nights this past week which were around 34 degrees.


On May 18, 2009, DaylilyDonna from Paulina, LA wrote:

Mine just bloomed yesterday (May 17, 2009) and is lovely. I orginally thought it was alot like a swamp spider lily we have around this area. I planted the bulb (from Walmart) on Feb. 18 and so it took 3 mos. to bloom. I have it in a pot now but will add it to the garden somewhere.


On May 14, 2009, redcamaro350ss from Statesville, NC wrote:

This plant seems to be more hardy than what it says here. All of the literature I have read has said 8a and higher. I have never dug mine up and they have returned for about 5 years now. I rarely have much success with them blooming, but this may be due to our drought that has been persistent for about three years now (Especially 2007). They are planted in clay soil and last year produced many leaves. Wonderful flowers if they bloom.

Update: This winter finally killed them. Seems winter moisture is the main problem and not the cold. If you are going to keep them outside in less than zone 8 they will need to be kept dry.


On Mar 14, 2009, 56wow56 from Sasakwa, OK wrote:

Last summer I planted 2 amarylis bulbs in a flower bed in back of my house. And 2 of these peruvian daffodils just came up and had beautiful smell though. I had never seen them before and didn't know until a few days ago when I saw some bulbs for sale at Wal-Mart what they were even called. Anyway I am hoping they come back this summer. I live in zone 7.


On Feb 13, 2009, chuck7701 from McKinney, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Love this plant for the tall lush foliage with or without the incredible flowers. Planted 4 small bulbs three years ago, dug them up 2/08 to declump and amazingly I now have 40 bulbs - 12 were the size of a small grapefruit, many more about tennis ball size and smaller. Haven't had any insect problems with these.

Easy to grow, thrives in full afternoon hot Texas sun, foliage reached 2-3 feet, freeze knocks them out, but they seem to come back even stronger. Is not a real profuse flower producer, averages usually 1 flower stalks per bulb, typical of the daffodil family. Offsets grow quickly and are plentiful if left in one spot undisturbed over several years.


On Sep 11, 2008, buggycrazy from spokane valley, WA (Zone 5a) wrote:

This plant with its exquisite bloom is a bulb, and like most bulbs it hates pots. It will bloom in a pot if the bulb is large enough, but the bulbs will shrink in pots like most bulbs do, even when planted in huge pots. It also has contractile roots and will pull itself down into the soil to 18 inches deep, since it doesn't grow until the soil warms up it may not emerge until August the following year, and here where it rains nonstop Fall thru Spring, a very wet year can rot the bulbs. It is best grown in a very well drained, hot location or lifted every fall and replanted when the soil warms up. It can also be grown in large pots, the leaves are attractive also. The blooms only last about 1 week, but hold in a cooler for cut flowers very well, opening quickly after warming.


On Mar 23, 2008, eliasastro from Athens,
Greece (Zone 10a) wrote:

Well, not totally negative but i have some complaints on this bulb!
I grow it in a large pot. It dies down in the winter but in sheltered areas it may keep it's foliage (in my climate zone).
-Beautiful and fragrant flowers.
-Tropical foliage.

- Needs large (in fact huge) space - won' t flower in small pots.
- Flowering lasts very short, for about a week.
- Foliage is huge and flowers are few.
- When overcrowded it won' t flower.
-When divided it won' t flower until the following year.
- Uprooted bulbs won' t flower until the following year.
I personally prefer Pancratium maritimum ( Sea daffodil) which is much smaller but produces similar look very fragrant flowers and needs no sp... read more


On Jan 8, 2008, hkc072473 from Spring, TX wrote:

I actually ran across these in Walmart, and picked up a package just because I thought they were so beatiful. I planted them in the beds under a couple large shady trees, and they did great! Mine never did have any fragrance, but I looking forward to finding some more for my new home. Very very easy no mess plant.


On Jun 19, 2007, mgh from Willamette Valley, OR (Zone 8a) wrote:

I planted these for the fist time last year and they bloomed wonderfully. So far this year, I have not even seen a leaf. I didn't dig them in the winter as I am in zone 8 and thought they would be fine. Very disappointing that they are gone.


On Feb 24, 2007, beerhog from Paris, AR (Zone 7a) wrote:

I have this plant and if yours is not blooming but growing, it may be planted to deep.


On Jun 13, 2006, jamlover from Delhi, IA wrote:

I plant what started out as ten bulbs every spring. I of course have to dig them each fall after a killing frost. In three years in rich soil and if well feed my orginal ten has turned into 15 blooming size and 8 or 9 smaller bulbs that will need to grow a year to be blooming size. Put lots of compost in the planting area and add some bonemeal. The bulbs need to be the size of small baseballs to bloom freely. Dig carefully!!!!!


On May 30, 2006, mremom from Pleasant Grove, AL wrote:

I have these planted for atleast 4 years ago. They are growing and multiplying like crazy but not blooming. There is someone down the street from me and theirs bloom. I love the pictures I see but don't know what to do to make them bloom. :o( Can anyone tell me what to try?


On May 21, 2006, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

This is my first year growing these. I bought these plants ONLY because they were reputed to be so very fragrant. I have 3 blooms opened and there is absolutely no fragrance whatsoever!! In fact, I have checked them at several diff times of the day today to see if maybe they were evening fragrant- LOL! I do like them anyway, as they are very beautiful, but I am very disappointed that there is no nice smell.


On Apr 18, 2006, Suze_ from (Zone 7b) wrote:

This plant is a dependable spring bloomer for me. Fairly easy care.

Dramatic blooms.


On Feb 18, 2006, jmorth from Divernon, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:

Does well in large containers outside in summer; overwinters in basement, usually left in pot till repotted in spring.


On Oct 4, 2005, HostaFanatic from Rockwood, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Recieved as a mystery bonus with an order of perennials. Has been growing in my garden for three years. No need to dig up in fall as it survives the winters in the ground just fine.


On May 5, 2005, hgalindo from Houston, TX wrote:

I grabbed a few of these bulbs out of the discount/late season bin at Lowe's just on a whim. Normally I like really colorful flowers, but the shape of this one looked interesting. Well, turns out to be one of my favorite plants in my garden this year! I have it planted with some agapanthus and dwarf agapanthus, so the leaves are pretty similar but the white blooms are really striking against all the lush green foliage. Really beautiful profuse bloomer, with sort of a daylily grace to it. I will definitely get more of these for next year and I can't recommend them enough, particularly in the Houston area. I'm just going to leave them in the ground and assume they will naturalize like a regular daffodil.


On Apr 15, 2005, PurplePansies from Deal, NJ (Zone 7a) wrote:

Peruvian (or Italian) daffodil is a lovely plant.... it has long strappy leaves (similar to clivia) and a large spidery blossom.... large like an ammaryllis but similar to a daffodil in that it has a cup surroundedd by petals.... but these are not regular daffodil like petals.... long and twisty.... feather almost..... the SCENT IS WONDERFUL.... fairly powerful on a warm evening..... Great for pots on a veranda etc. where you can sit and enjoy the scent.... takes fairly well to pot culture where it cannot be grown outdoors.... let bulbs dry out and store for the winter.... I find this bulb to be one of the easiest summer bulbs to overwinter and bloom the next year.... alsways does well.... highly recommended... plant a few for blossoms as each bulbs only gets a few blooms.... :)


On Aug 24, 2004, ritasgarden from Laguna Niguel, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

I rec'd this as a free bulb when I purchased a plumeria cutting at our local fair. I planted the bulb in the middle of May and yesterday the first bud bloomed and today another; 3 more buds are yet to open. I am enjoying this!


On May 14, 2004, tomscabin from Woodstock, GA wrote:

I planted two groups of six (6) bulbs in the middle of April (Atlanta Area) and the first bloom arrived May 10th.
A second bulb is now open (May 14th) and has four blooms open a the same time and 5 others set to open.
These are the white variety. I am expecting 10 bulbs of the yellow variety in a few days and expect the same results. The first blooming was cut and put in water, it has continued to open new blooms.


On Dec 10, 2003, dogbane from New Orleans, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

Hortus Third lists this species as a hybrid of H. longipetela and H. narcissiflora.


On Oct 6, 2003, MissPrimrose from Lowell, MA wrote:

Gorgeous flowers - beautiful curved, long foliage create an amazing look! For those in colder climates, gorw in containers that can be placed in a frost-free spot, such as a basement for the winter.


On Aug 5, 2003, suncatcheracres from Old Town, FL wrote:

I've grown Peruvian Daffodil for three or four years now, first near Atlanta, Georgia, zone 7b, and now in Northcentral Florida, zone 8b. I had heavy clay soil in Georgia, and quite cold winters, and lost one of the two bulbs I had planted, but the other bulb survived transfer to Florida, and almost a year in a pot. The plant now resides in a raised bed where it grew to a huge size this Summer, as here in Florida I have sandy soil with a lot of humus. Unfortunately heavy rain during bloom time ruined the fabulous flower within two days.

I'm glad to learn it likes wet conditions and will transfer it to a wetter location this fall where hopefully it will spread. It is a beautiful plant with a spectacular flower.

December 11, 2003: I finally transplanted m... read more


On Aug 4, 2003, UNCLEBILL from Lindsay, CA wrote:

My son had a row of these jade green fleshy plants on the south side of his house about 18" tall. They received very little water. When he was selling the house, we installed an irrigation system. Within a few days they bloomed. I took one bulb and planted it in a wet area of the yard, The next year I had three flower stalks. Now 3 years later I have picked 21 stalks and, there are at least 3 more coming!
The plants are in a very wet area all year and, they love it. The soil is a clay loam with a slightly basic ph. The longest leaves are 31" long, 2 to two and one half inches long, one eighth to one quarter inch thick. They are a beautiful dark jade green color all year long.
The flowers when cut last 1 to 2 days each and, then one or two more open until the stem i... read more


On Aug 1, 2003, airren from Alabaster, AL (Zone 7b) wrote:

2003 was the first year I planted the peruvian daffodil. I planted four and all thrived, but only 3 bloomed. I think this is now my favorite flower - it's flower is delicate, yet the plant itself is very strong.


On Jul 26, 2003, StAndrew from Lutherville Timonium, MD wrote:

As with a lot of plants that I see in the nurseries and buld/garden catalogs, I decided to grow the Peruvian Daffodil for myself. I'm glad I did! Of course I was amazed by the beauty and frangrance of this flower, but I was also amazed by how fast it grew once I planted the bulb. In a few days, the new growth broke the surface of the soil. In less than two weeks, the bulb produced plenty of healthy leaves and started to send up it's flower stalk.

In less than a month, the first flower bud was in full bloom! I pinch off the pollen sacks in an effort to prolong the life of the flower. The flower stalk produced four flowers that year.

As the weather cooled (Zone 6 in Cleveland ... less than a mile from Lake Erie), I stopped watering the Peruvian daffodil in p... read more


On Jul 10, 2003, kmnice from Minneapolis, MN wrote:

I'm in zone 4 so I must dig the bulbs up for winter - but I tried these the first time this year and had success in 3 of 5 bulbs. The foliage is great even without the flower - though the flowers are great and fragrant!


On Aug 1, 2002, haighr from Laurel, DE (Zone 7a) wrote:

Tried these for the first time this year. Planted the bulbs in pots in full sun on June 28 and they bloomed in thirty days. Mine reached about 28" in height and have beautiful blooms. They add a great splash of white to any floral arrangement.