Spider Lilies, Sea Bean, and a Freakin Big Moth

Today I made a rather unbalanced trade with a very charitable gardening friend, and ended up with a plant that I've been looking everywhere for.
Actually she was kind enough to give me a whole lot of that plant.

When I say a lot, I mean A LOT of Spiderlily bulbs!

I don't know which species it is, but it doesn't really matter since I've been wanting a Hymenocallis for the longest time and ended up with... we'll stick with "a lot".  Its likely either Hymenocallis Caroliniana or Hymenocallis Latifolia, and both supposedly handle consistently moist soil pretty well.  They should be delighted to live in my wet and squishy backyard alongside other florida swamp natives like my everglades palm, yellow anise, dahoon and yaupon hollies and all the trees like sweet bay magnolia and gordonia! 
She was even nice enough to give me a division of "Spanish Tarragon", (also known as Mexican Mint Marigold) so that I could use it in my cooking, some Cassia seeds and pink rain lily seeds, freshly collected! 
Not only did I leave with plants, I also got some great info.  For example, she has also sprouted pineapple seeds recently and some of them were already quite large!  There was an abundance of herbs too, but the pots of tropicals being started from seed is what really got me excited, since that's an odd little habit I've picked up too.  For example...

My seabean!  Its gotten to be almost 2 feet tall in about a week and has already become rootbound, so I've given up on container culture and planted it in the ground between an evergreen weeping yaupon holly and a (also evergreen) yellow anise.  Hopefully their leaf cover will help protect the base of the plant.  I'll just train it along the ground so that I can cover the trunk with mulch in winter and then let it clamber up my bottlebrush, wax myrtle, and into the canopy of pines and cypress.  Yes, it will grow that fast. 
And don't you guys worry about it being invasive, since it only propagates itself with its rock hard two inch round and flattened beans, which require specialist fish and mammals in Costa Rica to crack the shell.  Mine only sprouted after spending years at sea coated with barnacles and other fouling marine life, time baking and composting in seaweed on a shelly beach, a few more years in my collection, and a good sanding on the already crackled outer layer of the bean.  The other seabeans in the container without that abuse still look polished and clean after being in the wet dirt for months.

In other news... 
-  The pineapple lilies (eucomis) are finally starting to flower
-  The climbing gloriosa lily will also flower soon
-  The bottlebrush out front is getting large and has more flower buds than I've ever seen.
-  Baby green lizards everywhere!  Take that, bugs!
-  The yellow tabebuia has gotten huge, and has forgotten all about winter.
-  Oh, and I saw a cool moth at the gas station.  It was 3 or 4 inches long, brighter orange than this photo can show you, and as beautiful as any butterfly in the garden. 
-  Okay, a big orange moth is no big deal, but it was kind of neat.  Yeah.


  1. Well I am so happy to see that someone has been so generous with you after you were so generous with me! It works like that doesn't it? I am totally jealous of your baby green lizards but you can keep that moth. Flying things kind of freak me out. Like they are going to dive bomb me and get in my hair. Yuck.

  2. We've got big moths here too. Although I'd say yours are prettier, but really there both just brown moths ;)

    Good score on the Spider Lillies!

  3. You are very happy with your plants. The bulbs will be beautiful in time. I have never seen a sea bean, I will google it! Love the moth and I am always happy to see them in my garden especially when it is a big one like the one you found. I have given many different Bromeliad-pups to a Lady who loves gardening. She said this was like winning the lottery, I thought that was nice!
    I think the Neoregelia flowers are so pretty how they sit in their nest, such a fantastic colour.

  4. Wow, that was generous! Either she has a very mature garden or they are growing wild on her property. Either way, lucky you! And pink rain lilies to boot! Very lucky. Sounds like everything in your garden is doing well right now. Gotta love summer! Actually, it's been a long time since I noticed the seasons so much.

  5. Sounds like you got lots of excitement in your garden! I envy your "a lot" of spider lilies! I have also been looking for different bulbs suitable for Florida, only don't have much luck. Great news about your sea bean experiment. keep us posted!

    ~~Ami from China

  6. Yeah for plant swapping!!! Enjoy your new babies! I love your moth! If you care about an I.D., you could look at www.bugguide.net.
    I found a whole bunch of beautiful bromeliads out on the road some people were disposing of tonight...I think I got 4...can't wait to check them out in daylight tomorrow...will do a post soon!

  7. Wow..
    Thats a lots & lots of spider lilies.
    Hope they all bloom and give you that mersmerising pleasure of the white evening scent.
    Something that its just too lovely to miss.
    Good thing that you can find such generous friends who is willing to trade plants in such care.

  8. That's a lot of bulbs! I am sure they going to be spectacular when they all are in bloom together :-D Oh, you have gloriosa lily? wow! I saw this vine at one house the other day from afar. The flowers were like floating. And when I got close, the flowers look really unique. I hope yours will have the same effect.

  9. You lucky, lucky man!! What a treasure! I can't wait to see them all in bloom!!! And your new task of growing tropicals from seeds is fun and interesting. I'm not very experienced at growing from seeds...I usually get clippings.

  10. Hi again! I had to come back to your sea bean post to tell you about this:


  11. Thanks Julie! I hadn't read the latest issue yet, and I liked the part about germinating a durian seed! Who would have thought someone would find it on the beach?


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