Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Five Generation Plant

To the best of my knowledge, there is only one plant in my garden that has been a pass-along for five generations.  I have never known the exact species or hybrid name of this Crinum Lily - we have always simply referred to it as Grannie's Lily.

It could originally be found in the garden of Grandmother McGinnis, my wife's paternal great-great-grandmother who lived in Thalia, Texas.  From there, some of its prodigy were passed along to Nanny, my wife's great-grandmother. 

Its next stopping point was the yard of my wife's grandmother, Gran.  It traveled from there to my wife's mother, MamaSam - where it has resided in her gardens both in Levelland, Texas and, eventually, here in Austin.

And finally, she passed them on to our garden where they have been growing and blooming for several years.  Five generations: Grandmother McGinnis, Nanny, Gran, MamaSam, Reatta - traveling from near the Texas-Oklahoma border to Levelland to Austin (a path covering over 600 miles).

It has already gone through one set of blooms (strategically opening and fading between April's and May's GBBD - one would think it was camera shy).

But it often produces a second set of flower stalks and is doing so again this year (though I'm sure they will be gone long before June GBBD!).

The blooms fade rapidly, usually lasting only a couple of days.  And this time can be shortened if  hit by sprinkler systems or even rainfall (rumored to occur in these parts on occasion).

No other plant in my garden comes close to the long history of this lovely flower.


  1. What a great generational story, RBell - and that crinum is definitely a plant worth holding onto.

    I have a couple of plants via my grandmother's garden in Illinois ... fewer generations but still treasured.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  2. Annie: The crinum has done well in my garden (enough so that I've added some others - though they have yet to ever bloom); sounds like your plants may have fewer generations but many more miles!

  3. What a surprise in viewing your flowers when I saw your milk and wine Lilly.. For years I never knew the name of this Lilly that grew around my grandmothers in Georgia. I called it my ola Lilly, giving it her first name. I keep it in a pot in ct as it wii not survive the winter. I treasure it when it blooms.