The Crinum 'Summer Nocturne' is often overlooked and doesn't get the recognition it really deserves.
Why does this cost so much less than the other crinum? The bulbs are simply smaller than other crinum bulbs, but they multiply quickly.
If they are smaller bulbs, will they be smaller plants? No, these lovely ladies will still get between 2-3 feet tall! Look at the picture below next to the bird bath.
Blooms: By late summer, most Crinum have already had their day in the sun. By mid-July, one of the only crinums we can hope to still see blooming in our gardens is the Mrs. James Hendry. Just when you think the trumpet flowers have ended for the year along comes the blooms of the Crinum 'Summer Nocturne'. She doesn't even begin to bloom until July or August! The really special thing about her is that she continues to put on blooms not just for a week or two but until the frost! The blooms are large 3-5 inch white trumpets tipped in very pale pink. The pink darkens as the bloom ages. The blooms have a unique lightly sweet scent. Each dark green flower spike the bulb shoots up produces 6-10 blooms.
Foliage: The dark green foliage of the Crinum 'Summer Nocturne' is compact and generally tidy. This encourages you to allow the 'Summer Nocturne' to be front and center when you are searching for where to plant it.
Bulb: As we said, these bulbs are a lot smaller than our other Crinum bulbs, but they are hardy bulbs! This bulb requires little to no extra care once it is established in your garden. They are long-lived bulbs that will do well in almost any soil. If you have rock and clay soil, simply amend it and these will take care of themselves.
Planting: I would suggest planting it with the top 1/3 of the bulb above the ground. Crinum do best in full sun, but this crinum can do well in semi-shade.
Container: If you have a small space, this is the probably best crinum to use in a container. The small bulbs give you plenty of room for other plants and bulbs in your container. We talk about containers needing plants that are thrillers, fillers, and spillers. The Crinum 'Summer Nocturne' is your thriller. Remember that the Zephyranthes labuffarosa was a great filler, but the strappy monocot foliage of the Crinum would pair well with common annuals you could buy at any garden center this time of year.
Animals: This crinum is adored by hummingbirds and bees. Like most crinum, the deer and other animals really tend to leave it alone.
History: This crinum was developed by Thad Howard in Texas in 1964 so even though it doesn't have the long history of some of the other crinum, it definitely has the durability for southern gardens.
For many of us, patience is not our strongest quality. When we plant something, we want to see it grow - soon! Planting with perennial bulbs is about planning for the future. That makes this time of year ideal for planning and planting for next year. We know that it is the end of the summer growing season and our gardens are tired. Trim up sad and overgrown perennials and plant additional perennials with the understanding that it is for the future - for next year or possibly even the year after. This is actually a great time to go ahead and plant the rain lilies, crinum, and spider lilies along with all the spring blooming narcissus for next year. They have time to get established and take root, and they will be in the ground for at least six months before their next bloom season. Some of them need that growing time before blooming. This is why we continue to say...
Remember you're planting a story, and these bulbs are for a lifetime!