Ismene was classified in 1892 in the genus Hymenocallis, part of the family Amaryllidaceae, but since 1990 it has been classified as a separate group because of botanical and genetic differences.
The main difference is that the leaves of Ismene form a pseudo-stem. The flowers are declinate to pendulous, the staminal cup is usually ribbed green.
The flowers are usually white and very fragrant but there are hybrids of different colours and they give an exotic touch to the garden.
Central Andes: Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia
USDA Zone 9, 5 °C
Well drained and nutrient
Division of bulbs
Sun, light or partial shade
- can be grown in pots or open ground
- grown in pots, water frequently during the growing season. It resists both swampy conditions and drought.
- give fertiliser every 2 weeks
- bring the bulbs inside in winter before the first frost
- cut the leaves and stems of faded flowers and dry the plant
- once dry, remove as much soil as possible from the bulb and leave it in a dry place, sheltered from frost
- plant bulbs in spring when danger of frost is gone and the weather is much milder (May)
- cut the faded flowers so that the bulb can regain strength before winter