Crinum asiaticum flowers

Source: Drew Avery

Crinum asiaticum flowers

Crinum asiaticum or poison bulb is an exotic tuberous plant with beautiful, night-scented flowers.

It is very easy to grow but becomes quite big.

Can be grown in the garden in tropics and subtropics, elsewhere in pot on a patio or as a house plant.


Crinum asiaticum is a large herbaceous tuberous plant up to 2 m tall, with a rosette of leaves at the top of its stem. The tuber is 10-12 cm in diameter with a 15-20 cm neck and can weigh up to 10 kg.

The leaves have no petioles, are lanceolate, light green, 50-150 cm long and 3-20 cm wide and have prominent parallel veins.

The flowers grow in clusters of 10 to 50 at the top of a long peduncle. The petals and sepals are lanceolate, white, 6-12 long and 0.5-1.2 cm wide. They are fragrant at night.

Fleshy fruits are irregularly rounded, 2.5-6.5 cm wide, with 1 to 5 seeds. The seeds have a width of 2-4.5 cm.

All parts of the plant are toxic, exposure to sap may cause skin irritation.


Common names:

Asiatic poison lily, bakung, bawang hutan, crinum lily, poison bulb, giant crinum lily, grand crinum lily, seashore crinum, seashore lily, spider lily, St. Johns lily


Amaryllis carnosa, Bulbine asiatica, Crinum albiflorum, Crinum angustifolium, Crinum anomalum, Crinum asiaticum var. asiaticum, Crinum asiaticum var. declinatum, Crinum asiaticum var. procerum, Crinum bancanum, Crinum bracteatum, Crinum brevifolium, Crinum carinifolium, Crinum cortifolium, Crinum declinatum, Crinum floridum, Crinum hornemannianum, Crinum macrantherum, Crinum macrocarpum, Crinum macrophyllum, Crinum northianum, Crinum plicatum, Crinum procerum, Crinum redouteanum, Crinum rigidum, Crinum rumphii, Crinum sumatranum, Crinum toxicarium, Crinum umbellatum, Crinum woolliamsii, Crinum zanthophyllum, Haemanthus pubescens, Lilium pendulum


Crinum: from the Greek krínon (lily)
Asiaticum: Latinisation of Asia (from Asia, asian)


Mascarenes to subtropical and tropical Asia


At the edge of coastal forests, mangrove forests, sandy beaches and water edges, at low altitudes.


USDA zone 9-11

Crinum asiaticum

Source: Own work

Crinum asiaticum
Kew Gardens



Well-drained nutritious soil




Average water needs, water regularly during growing season, less often during rest


Organic fertilizer twice a year or liquid fertilizer 20-20-20 monthly during growing period


At the end of the rest period, when growth resumes.


Division, seed.

When sown, it takes 5 years for the plant to bloom.


The bulb produces lateral shoots that can be removed when repotting after resting period.

New bulbs will bloom after 3-4 years.

Sowing instructions:

  • surface sow on a moist sowing substrate
  • 25-30 °C
  • germination time: less than a month to a few months