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.
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.
To 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.
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.
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.