Add Crinum asiaticum ‘Variegatum’ to brighten your garden!

Crinum asiaticum ‘Variegatum’ (Variegated Crinum, Variegated Grand Crinum Lily, Variegated Giant Spider Lily, Striped Bengal Lily, Asiatic Poison Bulb)

Crinum asiaticum 'Variegatum' (Variegated Grand Crinum Lily, Variegated Giant Spider Lily, Striped Bengal Lily, Asiatic Poison Bulb), 21 July 2013We just did that last July… added a pot of Variegated Crinum to brighten our courtyard that desperately needed a life saver. This plant stands out remarkably well where green abounds!

It was love at first sight when I saw this large-leaved beauty at a nearby garden centre recently.

The purity of the white bands on its green foliage is simply attractive, to say the least. I was terribly fascinated with the leaves variegation… so beautiful, none of the leaf blades are patterned alike.

We had purchased it for a steal… just RM15 for a medium-sized plant with two pups that made it all the more worthwhile.

Crinum asiaticum 'Variegatum' (Variegated Grand Crinum Lily, Asiatic Poison Bulb) and other foliage plants at our courtyard - July 5, 2013I was giddy with delight, foreseeing the pups being eventually separated and grown individually as new plants. How wonderful… more plants, thus more pups to perpetuate its dramatic existence in our garden, indefinitely! Besides, they’ll be great as gifts to friends and neighbours.

It was a breeze nailing this plant’s ID. Somehow its structure and form reminded me of the Grand Crinum Lily with totally green leaves that I’ve written about previously. Simply googling for ‘variegated crinum lily’ and viola… the results were spot-on!

This spectacular Variegated Grand Crinum Lily will surely be a hot favourite among landscapers and home-gardeners alike. Its enormous size and captivating foliage that is heavily striped in green and white, plus showy flowers will certainly make a showpiece specimen in any landscape or garden.

Plant Profile, Culture and Propagation :

  • Botanical Name: Crinum asiaticum ‘Variegatum’
  • Common Name: Variegated Crinum, Variegated Grand Crinum Lily, Variegated Giant Spider Lily, Striped Bengal Lily, Asiatic Poison Bulb.
  • Family name: Amaryllidaceae (also placed in Liliaceae)
  • Etymology: The genus name Crinum originates from the Greek, Krinon, which means white lily, referring to the white or whitish flowers which most species produce
  • Origin: Native to tropical Africa, Asia and Southeast Asia, Indian and Western Pacific Ocean coastlines, and Australia. Also cultivated elsewhere.
  • Plant type: Crinum asiaticum 'Variegatum' (Variegated Grand Crinum Lily, Variegated Giant Spider Lily, Striped Bengal Lily, Asiatic Poison Bulb), 21 July 2013Ornamental flowering bulbous perennial herb
  • Features: Crinum asiaticum ‘Variegatum’ is a variegated cultivar of the species, ‘asiaticum’ belonging to the genus, Crinum, that comprises of 60 – 100 species.
    In the wild, the native species with typical green foliage can be found growing along coastlines or sandy seashores and in mangrove swamps.
    In optimum growing conditions, this evergreen herbaceous perennial that is moderate to fast-growing, can reach 1.5 m (5 ft) tall and form clumps that spread to about 2 m (7 ft) wide.
    Crinum asiaticum 'Variegatum' (Variegated Grand Crinum Lily, Striped Bengal Lily, Asiatic Poison Bulb) - an aged plant with thickened pseudostem, August 16 2013Spectacular and impressive, the cultivar ‘Variegatum’ produces large strap-shaped leaves that are up to 1 m (3 ft) long, 10-15 cm (4-6 ins) wide, tapering gradually to a point, simple and have slightly undulated margins.
    The smooth-textured leaves are prominently variegated with green and white stripes and emerge from a bulb that grows larger as it matures and may weigh up to 9 kg (20 lbs). Leaves are spirally arranged on an erect and thickened pseudostem made up of sheathing leaf bases.
    The Variegated Crinum Lily multiplies readily by producing pups prolifically. Crinum asiaticum 'Variegatum' (Variegated Grand Crinum Lily, Variegated Giant Spider Lily, Striped Bengal Lily, Asiatic Poison Bulb) with pups - July 21, 2013Besides, it flowers intermittently throughout the year in the tropics and non-frost regions. An erect, solid and succulent flowering scape will emerge from the axils of old leaves and topped by a cluster or umbel of about 20 – 50 large blooms, showcasing a huge flower head. Pure white lily-shaped flowers are held on greenish tube-like pedicels with a flared crown of narrowly lobed petals and very thin filaments. The sweetly scented flowers are short-lived but the whole flowering process is wonderfully prolonged as the numerous buds gradually unfurl over an extended period of time.
    Flowers will eventually develop into spherical fruits or seed pods, somewhat large in size (about 5-cm diameter) and when ripe will contain viable seeds for propagation.
  • Culture (Care): Variegated Crinum asiaticum is an easy to grow bulbous plant that requires little care.
    Light: Crinum asiaticum 'Variegatum' (Variegated Grand Crinum Lily, Variegated Giant Spider Lily, Striped Bengal Lily, Asiatic Poison Bulb) - July 3 2013Grow best in full sun and tolerates partial shade. It enjoys lots of light and heat, so do not site it in shade or deep shade.
    Moisture: Average water needs. Allow to dry between waterings as overwatering may cause bulbs to rot. It is moderately drought tolerant and enjoys humid conditions.
    Soil: Any kind of well-drained soil, though best in humus enriched soil. It is salt tolerant.
    Others: Remove withered or yellow basal leaves as they age, and spent flowers too, to keep it aesthetically appealing and encourage new growth. Feed monthly with a balanced fertilizer. Repot in a large pot when necessary to provide sufficient space for the plant to grow well. No serious insect or disease problems though occasionally bothered by snails, caterpillars and leaf spot. Beware that all parts of the Variegated Giant Crinum Lily are poisonous and may cause severe discomfort if ingested, and the sap can cause skin irritation or allergic reaction.
    For subtropical and temperate regions: Hardiness: USDA Zone 8b-11. Outdoors, foliage can be damaged by frost or freezing winter temperatures, especially in Zone 8, but recovers rapidly during warm weather in spring. Best to propagate by division in winter when not actively growing. Flowers from spring to fall but all year round in greenhouse. Check out further insights from Marcelle’s Crinums site.
  • Propagation: By separation of offsets or pups from the parent plant and by seeds that should be sown soon after ripening,Propagating Crinum asiaticum 'Variegatum' by removing its pup/offset - Aug 6, 2013 the former being preferred as seeds take about 30 days to germinate and a much longer period to reach flowering size.
    To ensure success, remove the pup when it’s neither too tiny nor too large. Dig in around it carefully with a garden spade or fork as deep as you would think the roots are situated, and gently pull it out together with its bulb and roots. Then, pot it in garden soil, water thoroughly through and site it at a semi-shaded area to acclimatize.
  • Usage: Crinum asiaticum ‘Variegatum’ is mostly grown for its spectacular variegated foliage and showy flowers, enormous size and sculptural form – will make excellent landscape plant at parks, gardens and other public places.
    Crinum asiaticum 'Variegatum' (Variegated Grand Crinum Lily, Asiatic Poison Bulb) and other foliage plants at our courtyard - July 5, 2013Grow it as an interesting specimen plant in home gardens for that dramatic accent or en masse in borders or use it as bedding plants or informal hedge to line the fence. Great as container plant or grown in raised planters and suitable too to be grown as aquatics or semi-aquatic plants. Ideal in greenhouse for year long blooming in temperate regions.
    C. asiaticum is known to have medicinal benefits despite it being poisonous. It is widely used in some countries as a traditional medicine – as a poultice for aches, sores and chaps, while crushed leaves are used to treat piles. Read more of its traditional uses at StuartXchange – Philippine Alternative Medicine.

Other external links:

Update: January 28, 2016
We’re extremely excited! Our potted Crinum asiaticum ‘Variegatum (Variegated Crinum Lily) decided to kick off the 2016 New Year by blooming for the first time! What fabulous blessings! :-)

Our potted Crinum asiaticum 'Variegatum' flowering for the first time ever, Jan 6 2016

Last edit: June 11, 2016

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6 Responses to “Add Crinum asiaticum ‘Variegatum’ to brighten your garden!”

  1. yara Says:

    Hello !! It is a very beautiful variegated Crinum in our garden but we have one green leaf and has been slow to bloom.
    Respect and affection for you.

  2. Jacqueline Says:

    Yara… thank you for your kind thoughts. I understand that the green variety is a better bloomer than my variegated one. Hope yours bloom soonest for you and continue for many more seasons to come.
    Have a lovely day and rest of the week, my friend.

  3. james Says:

    Overwatering causes bulb to rot?

    I had accidentally put this plant standing in water as I had no more pots and so I placed it in a container but there was no water holes in it.
    (and forgotten about it)
    It stayed there for weeks and few months.
    Then I realised that this one can handle wet feet.

    Currently I had given away this plant to all of my friends who wanted some aquatic plants.

    If you could – see if you can try it with the pups.
    Just my point of view – see if I’m wrong or whether it is something to discover – that this one can stand on water.

    Thanks & God bless.

  4. Jacqueline Says:

    Thanks for your feedback and sharing, James.
    Yes, I’m aware that it can be suitably grown as an aquatic plant as mentioned by a commenter at Dave’s Garden, link provided in my article above.
    In my humble opinion, growing plants in soil is entirely different from growing in water. Surely, they have different requirements… it does not mean that being an aquatic plant, it will survive as well in soil that is heavily overwatered.
    As gardeners, we know that good soil and its management (including fertilizing), proper watering, good drainage to provide sufficient aeration, etc. are paramount in maintaining best health and growth of plants. And, these are definitely not that easy and simple. That’s why I mentioned ‘overwatering may cause bulbs to rot’ as a precautionary measure. ;)
    Cheers and God bless.

  5. Juliana Says:

    What could be the reason for Crinium lily leaves having brown areas?

  6. Jacqueline Says:

    Hi Juliana,
    Probably the leaves are diseased. Have a look at our article at
    Hope this helps.
    Have a good day!

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