Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Consider the Lilies

scan0005So many of you had questions about the pictures of the Cahaba lily that I posted for last week’s Wordless Wednesday that I decided a follow up with words is in order.

Hymenocallis coronaria is the proper name for the plant that is commonly known as the Cahaba lily. The name comes from the Cahaba River, the longest free-flowing river in Alabama.

scan0012 In the Cahaba and Little Cahaba Rivers, the seeds from the Cahaba lily nestle in the crevices of the rocky shoals where they grow and bloom from mid-May to mid-June. In Georgia and South Carolina, the lilies are often referred to as the Shoal lily.

The Cahaba Lily Festival is celebrated each year in West Blocton, Alabama, on the last Saturday in May, which will be May 30th this year. My friend Becky and I dragged our husbands to the festival one year, where I took the pictures that I posted on Wordless Wednesday and that are posted here.

scan0008To get up close and personal with the lilies, we had to wade into the river. Here's Becky wading out to a stand of lilies. Be advised that the river bed is not only rocky but also covered in lots of little snails, so a good pair of water shoes or old tennis shoes is a must.

scan0007The three-inch wide white flowers have six long, narrow parts that surround the corona. They have been mistaken for the Swamp lily, which likes moist or boggy soil in a forest setting.

scan0010 The flowers begin to open late in the day and then begin to wither in the heat of the following day. Although many botanist consider the lily to be endangered, it is not protected by the state or federal governments. Admirers are strongly discouraged from poaching the lily as this will further endanger it, and it will not live outside its native shoals environment.

scan0009 If you’d like to read more about the Cahaba lily, please visit the website by clicking HERE.

And for more Outdoor Wednesday posts, be sure to visit Susan at A Southern Daydreamer.

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23 comments:

Susan @ A Southern Daydreamer said...

Happy Outdoor Wednesday Kathy! What a great post! And a gorgeous lily bloom! Thanks for sharing your photos.~ Susan

ellen b said...

Oh how very cool this flower is! I like it. I don't know if I've ever seen one before...
Happy O.W. to you!

CailinMarie said...

I do not believe I have ever seen a cahaba lily. And so pretty. Thank you for sharing this!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Kathy, those are some beautiful flowers! I love water lillies, and these are some of the prettiest I've seen. Thank you for sharing them with us.

Happy Outdoor Wednesday!

XO,

Sheila :-)

Christi @ A Southern Life said...

Those lilies are beautiful. Well worth they cool wade in the river. Thanks for showing us your pics.

Thoughtfully blended hearts said...

Thanks for the info...they really are quite extraordinary...

Mary said...

Wow! THank you for sharing the lilies with us. They are indeed beautiful and your pictures are lovely. Have a great day.

Really Rainey said...

Its so nice seeing the posts of people outside enjoying life... I just loved that photo of you crossing the creek!

~Really Rainey~

xinex said...

The lilies are truly beautiful, Kathy. Thanks for telling us about them...Christine

Sit A Spell said...

Very nice...never seen these before.

Keetha said...

I really do love this lily, have never seen one - - - except yours, and love all the info you gave us.

In it's name, "coronaria" is the word corona which means crown - - - and the lily DOES look like a crown, doesn't it?

Lovely lovely post!!!

Domestic Designer said...

They are just beautiful! Thank you so much for telling us a bit about them. I love flowers but had never heard of this lily! Have a great day!

Leigh of Bloggeritaville said...

I am partial to the Lilly too. The Cahaba runs right through Helena, a little branch called Buck Creek. There are also lilly's on it. They are certainly a site to see. I may have to come to the festival this weekend!

Marjorie (Molly) Smith said...

great post, I really enjoyed reading about these little Lilies. Wish I felt like heading to AL for the Festival.
Molly

Barb~Bella Vista said...

Hi Kathy, wonderful post and pictures.

Happy Outdoor Wednesday.

Barb

Terrie's Lil' Piece of Serenity said...

WOW!! Those lilies are awesome!

skyesofblue said...

What beautiful flowers. Also,
congratulations on your grandaughters birth.

Florida Sue said...

I have never seen a flower with such unusual stamens. It is so beautiful.

Mama said...

Thank you for the follow up on these gorgeous lilies Kathy, yes I think I would take my chances with those rocks and snails (ugh) to get up and close with those beautiful blooms. happy outdoor Wednesday, Kathy.

nanny said...

Very interesting, thanks for sharing. They sure are pretty!

Nancy @ La Chambre Rose said...

Kathy: Those are just gorgeous. Congrats to your son (and you!) on his masters. St. John's was recruiting my son, I loved that college. In the end, he is exactly where he needs to be. His education is almost the same, small classes and close relationships with his professors. (Plus, my sister lives there, fewer worries for me.) I love love love watching our kids grow up. Wow!

momma said...

those are gorgeous! thanks for sharing this information!!

g said...

Wow those are wonderful. I've seen them in specialty bulb catalogs, but never tried to grow them. Are they scented?