Cardiocrinum Species, Giant Himalayan Lily

Cardiocrinum giganteum

Family: Liliaceae (lil-ee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Cardiocrinum (kar-dee-oh-KRY-num) (Info)
Species: giganteum (jy-GAN-tee-um) (Info)
Synonym:Lilium giganteum



Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Flowers are fragrant

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round

Suitable for growing in containers

This plant is suitable for growing indoors


10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F)

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)

Sun Exposure:

Light Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Maroon (Purple-Brown)

White/Near White


Bloom Time:

Mid Summer



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

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

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

This plant is monocarpic

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds


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


Hoopa, California

San Leandro, California

East Haddam, Connecticut

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Brooklyn, New York

Portland, Oregon

Narberth, Pennsylvania

Austin, Texas

Bendigo, Virgin Islands

Bainbridge Island, Washington

Issaquah, Washington

Port Townsend, Washington

Seattle, Washington

Snohomish, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Nov 18, 2015, lafrenchkitty from bendigo,
Australia wrote:

Don't grow this in the sun, our Aussie sun fries the leaves. They go yellow. They like water. I have mine in a pot, I have a saucer under a huge pot. but I'm going to put it in the ground. In a very shaded spot. Lots of humus & mulch. My plants 3 foot already & grew 4 off shoots. Its leaves are going yellow because of the sun. So its getting moved very soon, like today.
They don't like frosts they go black. Who knew. Mmmmmm
Anyway I cant wait until they grow.
I put mine under cover in winter.


On Jun 29, 2012, vihosta from Nanaimo BC, BC (Zone 8a) wrote:

I live in Nanaimo BC Canada and have two Cardios - one is presently bloooming and the other resting until next year! They seem to share bloom years!
If anyone would like seeds I'll mail you some - no charge - as each bloom yields hundreds and hundreds per pod after flowering~

[email protected]


On Apr 30, 2012, growingtools from Nanaimo BC,
Canada wrote:

I purchased this plant because of it's beautiful glossy leaves. I didn't know what it was. It died off at the end of the summer, but came back the next year. It grew and grew and grew until it was about 6 feet tall. Then these long tubes began to form at the top. I still didn't know what it was. When these tubes (20 to 25) of them opened, I then realized it was some kind of lily and found I had a lily giganteum.

When it died off at the end of summer, I cut down the main stalk. This month, it has started up again, with 6 or 7 shoots around the old central stalk. I realize now, I should have divided the bulbs, which I assume were under ground, as nothing was visible. However, as they grow so quickly, the new shoots are already 8 or 10 inches tall. I wonder if I can d... read more


On Jun 6, 2011, Jcqln from Th hague,
Netherlands wrote:

I just bought a bulb and took great care planting it on a rotten steak with lots of natural fertiliser on a little heap of well drained soil in full shade, just as the seller told me to. Seeing all those flowering beauties in sun or half shade makes me wonder if I put the bulb on the right place in my small urban peace of blue clay....


On Aug 7, 2010, spiny1000 from Lillestrøm,
Norway (Zone 5a) wrote:

I have been growing Cardiocrinum giganteum in Lillestrøm, Norway (outside Oslo) for three years now, and it is really one of my favorite plants in the garden! The climate here is norwegian zone H4, equalling USDA zone 4b I suppose. Last winter we experienced -34 degrees Celsius (-30F) on two days, with -30C for several days.

After reading about the Botanical Garden in Gothenburg, Sweden were growing this species, with a winter covering of 50 centimeter (20 inches) hayballs, I aquired some bulbs from Great Britain, giving them a light but protected situation in the center of our garden, in fluctuating shade from a tree. The bulbs were planted in a raised bed 40 centimeters tall, built of solid blocks of peat, in a soil consisiting of rather old peat, some sand and a very ver... read more


On Nov 24, 2005, wallaby1 from Lincoln,
United Kingdom (Zone 8a) wrote:

I have personal experience with all this plants dos and don'ts. Do get fresh seed. Don't pay a fortune for a few seeds, as not all are viable. Some have better embryos than others The ones I bought (20 seeds for a fortune) had no real embryo (which is a hard bit in the middle). They were blank or had a brownish mark--no good! Needless to say I planted them (the seller most likely will not tell you they have to be fresh) at the wrong time, waited a year with no results.

I bought a mature bulb, which only grew to a stretched 3 feet, but had good flowers. They will not establish well if mature and will not grow tall. Had plenty of seed, which I took off early Nov. as seed pods split, then sowed some by late November, discarding hundreds.

Sow in a tray of ... read more


On Jan 9, 2003, Baa wrote:

A large bulbous plant from Southern China and the Himalayas.

Has large, ovate to heart shaped, glossy, deep green basal leaves, also carries smaller stem leaves. Bears tall stalks of white, trumpet shaped flowers that are heavily fragrant.

Flowers June-August

Likes a well-drained but moist, fertile soil in light shade.

This plant begins to die when the flowers are developing on the stalks (monocarpic), no amount of persuading will keep them alive once the seeds have been shed. However, when the flowering bulb dies, it has usually produced several bulbils/offsets around the old bulb which will flower in about 3-4 years from that point.

The plant will naturalise with these offsets but to have a year on year flowering ... read more