Crinum augustum [KRY-num, aw-GUS-tum] is a flowering species of the Lily family, Amaryllidaceae and subfamily Amaryllidoideae in the Crinum genus and native to the tropics of Southeast Asia.
The Queen Emma bit is appended to the binomial and is the official cultivar name.
It was named after Queen Emma who is also known as Emma Rooke. Back in the late 1850s, she was the Queen Consort of King Kamehameha IV.
It is said she had an affinity for the plant and its flowers, even though they are not native to Hawaii.
However, they have been introduced to land and now grow wild there.
This plant goes by several common names including:
- Spider Lily
- Queen Emma Crinum Lily
- Queen Emma Lily
- Stately Lily
Queen Emma Crinum Lily Care
Size & Growth
This exotic tropical plant blooms best when all growing conditions are met.
If planted in a sunny location with rich-moist soil it can grow up to a height of 6’ feet with a 3’ feet spread.
It grows at a moderate rate.
Growth will slow down when the plant is propagated from shoots or offsets.
The transplantation of bulbs also slows development.
It often takes the plant a few years to reach maturity.
Flowering and Fragrance
The flowers of the plant are unique in appearance and look beautiful against other tropical plants. The star-shaped blooms are borne on large inflorescences.
They are slightly fragrant and colored beautifully with magenta and white petals.
They look even better against the purplish upright growing leaves, creating an attractive clump of stiff foliage.
Light & Temperature
The strikingly exotic Queen Emma Lily thrives when planted in full to partial sun. In some cases, the plant may also grow in shadier areas but leans more towards sunnier and warm locations.
However, the leaves revert to a bright green color when in a shady spot.
It is hardy to USDA hardiness zones 8 – 11.
But if planted in a well-protected spot, it may do well in cooler regions but you may need to bring the plant indoors if it gets too cold.
Watering & Feeding
The Queen Emma Lily requires high levels of moisture to thrive and needs watering regularly.
Make sure the soil doesn’t dry out completely between watering as it may hurt its growth.
Cut back on watering if the weather gets too cold.
Queen Emma lilies are also drawn to rich and fertile soils.
To maintain the fertility of your soil, feed at least three times a year (summer, spring, and fall) using a high-quality granular fertilizer.
Soil & Transplanting
Being native to tropical locations, the plant prefers moist soil.
While the plant does love moisture-retentive soil, it also won’t tolerate constantly wet soil.
This is why your soil should be well-drained.
Use a fertile soil rich with organic matter and then feed it regularly to maintain it.
As for transplanting, bulbs are sensitive to being moved.
They may take a few years to develop and establish strong roots.
Grooming & Maintenance
The plant is easy to grow and easy to maintain.
It doesn’t require any trimming.
If you want to make the plant neater, clean up the excess number of young offsets from around the plant when it is dormant.
Remove any browned leaves scorched by the sun in extreme heat.
Other Crinums of Interest:
How to Propagate Spider Lily
This beautiful species of Crinum Lily is propagated by seeds and the division of offsets.
The latter is performed when the plant is dormant in winter.
- Locate new shoots or offsets, which were produced from self-seeding in the growing period.
- Gently remove them from near the parent plant and place each one in an individual pot and transplant when ready.
Propagating with seeds is done as soon as they are ripe.
- Place moist, well-drained organically rich soil in individual pots and sow 2-3 seeds per pot.
- Do not cover the seeds with soil.
- Once the seeds have germinated, thin out the pot and place each plant in its pot.
- Occasional liquid feed is beneficial for young plants.
- Keep them in the pots until they are large enough to be handled.
Spider Lily Pests or Diseases
The leaves, flowers, and fleshy fruits of the plant attract quite a lot of insects. Among these are chewing insects like grasshoppers.
These may attack and chew the foliage.
There is also a possibility of the plant sustaining damage from leaf scorch in extremely hot temperatures.
If the sun gets too hot, provide some shade for the plant.
Is This Plant Invasive?
While the plant is now majorly used as an ornamental plant, it used to be cultivated.
It escaped cultivation and is said to be invasive in some areas.
Is This Plant Toxic?
The plant does contain toxins.
Direct skin contact with the sap from the leaves may irritate your skin. This is especially true for people with sensitive skin.
Wear gloves while handling the plants and you’ll be fine.
Queen Emma Crinum Lily Uses
Queen Emma Lily looks great surrounded by pond peripheries and fountain borders in large gardens.
They’re useful for lining a driveway or center of a circular driveway.
They are also used as privacy plants.
Plant them along the parameters of your home to give you some privacy on the lower floor.
Or use them along your fence or boundaries in the back and front yards.
The plant also thrives in pots and adds natural beauty as accents for a corner of the house, patios, and near pools.