Our Audubon House “Heritage” Spider Lilies

In July of 2014 an ORCA/Audubon group of twelve enthusiastic volunteers salvaged native plants from the building site of the Audubon House in advance of the bulldozers clearing the lot. We rescued Beauty Berry, Wild Coffee, Myrsine, and several other species including several specimens of the very beautiful Mangrove Spider Lily (Hymenocallis latifolia).

The native plants were salvaged by and saved with constant watering by volunteers and primarily by our hard working Jean “JJ” Romano who continues to help us with all aspects of volunteering at ORCA and at Audubon House.

Now three years later almost to the day we are rewarded with beautiful blooms of the magnificent Mangrove Spiderlily which belongs to the Amaryllis Family (Amaryllidaceae) after these plants endured digging, being potted for an extended period of time, planted where they languished in non-ideal dry conditions, and finally placed in their present, more moist location where they are now flourishing. This salt tolerant plant thrives best along the edges Mangrove forests and other coastal wetlands. In a landscape this low maintenance plant is best used along borders and in wildflower gardens either as an accent plant or as a border. It is rugged in that it will tolerate periods of drought and even grows in rocky areas in the Florida Keys but it is most happy and healthy in a moist environment where it will more freely produce its long lasting and fragrant flowers.

Text by Ken Gonyo.
Photos by Bob Montanaro.

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