3. Hymenocallis liriosme (Rafinesque) Shinners, Field & Lab. 19: 102. 1951.
Western marsh spider-lily, Louisiana marsh spider-lily
Pancratium liriosme Rafinesque, Fl. Ludov., 19. 1817; Choretis galvestonensis Herbert; Hymenocallis galvestonensis (Herbert) Baker; H. galvestonensis subsp. angustifolia Traub
Bulb nonrhizomatous, subglobose to ovoid, 4.5–6 × 5–6 cm; basal plate 2–3 cm; neck 3–5 cm; tunic grayish brown. Leaves deciduous, 5–8, suberect, 3.2–8.5(–10.6) dm × 1.7–3.6 cm, highly coriaceous; blade shiny green, liguliform to narrowly lanceolate, channeled, apex acute. Scape 3.6–6.8(–8.8) dm, 2-edged, glaucous; scape bracts 2, enclosing buds, 4.5–8 × 1.5–2 cm; subtending floral bracts 3–4 cm × 5–10 mm. Flowers (3–) 5–12, opening sequentially, sweetly fragrant; perianth tube green, 4.5–8(–10.5) cm; tepals slightly ascending from base of corona, white, green-striped on keel, 6–9 cm × 4–8 mm; corona white with prominent, yellowish green eye, becoming rotate, shortly tubulose proximally, 2–3.5 × 4–5 cm, margins between free portions of filaments wavy to coarsely dentate; free portions of filaments inserted on flat sinal base, suberect, 1.5–3 cm; anthers 1–2.3 cm, pollen yellow; ovary subglobose, 1.2–1.8 cm × ca. 10 mm, ovules 2–3 per locule; style green in distal 1/2, fading to white proximally, 10–17 cm. Capsules subglobose, ca. 2 × 2 cm. Seeds ca. 2 × 1.5 cm. 2n = 40, 42.
Flowering early--mid spring. Ditches, margins of marshes and ponds, swamps, alluvial woods; 0--200 m; Ala., Ark., La., Miss., Okla., Tex.
Hymenocallis liriosme has become a favorite for gardens west of Mobile Bay, Alabama. Its leaves are numerous, liguliform to narrowly lanceolate, highly coriaceous, and shiny green. The numerous, small, highly fragrant flowers with the center of the staminal corona having a prominent, yellowish green eye are characteristics useful in distinguishing this species from H. occidentalis (W. S. Flory 1950) and from H. choctawensis (R. Gooch and G. L. Smith 1994; G. L. Smith and N. C. Coile 1999).
Numerous herbarium specimens of Hymenocallis liriosme were identified by H. P. Traub as H. galvestonensis. However, close examination of Rafinesque’s original publication of Pancratium liriosme leaves no doubt that this earlier name does apply to this taxon and that therefore its epithet has priority.