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Peruvian daffodil

Hymenocallis narcissiflora commonly called Peruvian daffodil or Spider Flower has intricately designed flowers and fragrance. This bulb is native to South America and Africa and hardy only to zones 8-10 in the US. This is my second year growing these bulbs and I have yet to experience the fragrance that I read so much about. Last year the bulbs bloomed at six inches but this year the stalks grew to two feet before it started to bloom. The first year I had them there were only two blooms per stalk but this year each stalk produced between four and five blooms.
  Peruvian daffodil flower

Here in Chicago they wouldn't survive the winter in the garden so I have been growing them in posts and treating them similar to Amaryllis bulbs in the fall. By that I mean that around October I start withholding water and allowing them to dry out and go into hibernation and then I store them along with my Amaryllis bulbs. If you prefer you can grow them in the ground in your garden but make sure to lift them out of the ground when fall approaches. They're great in containers and even after the flowers have faded you still have glossy, strap- like leaves to provide interest.

My attempts at hand pollinating the flowers have proven to be unsuccessful and I have not observed any beneficial insects visiting the flowers but the bulbs seem to be propagating themselves through offsets.

I purchased my first four bulbs last year at a garden center and the packing said to toss the bulbs and keep the offsets it produced the first growing season. Given the amount of blooms they produced the second year and how much they grew I have to disagree with the advice on the packing and assume it is just an attempt at selling more of these bulbs.


  1. Stuart5:17 PM

    Gorgeous flower. If it grows well in ones 8-10 I should be able to grow it in my area if I can find it - I shall keep the eyes peeled as I've never seen it before.

  2. What an interesting flower. Very striking!

  3. I grew this last year, too, and I love it. I've not noticed a fragrance either. I don't have a bloom yet this year, though.

  4. What a spectacular form. Very nice flower.

  5. Hey all.

    Glad you like it. I sure had fun admiring the blooms while they lasted.

    If you get a chance to grow one you should go for it, they're pretty inexpensive.

  6. Hey guy,

    I think we have a different variety as the stamens are longer and the center is not as ruffled.

  7. Don,

    That is beautiful. Perhaps we do have different cultivar or something. I recently saw one that also looked much larger than mine. Beautiful flower. Thanks for sharing your picture.

  8. Anonymous11:29 PM

    When I placed my Peruvian Daffodils outside after danger of frost was gone, they were about 18" and healthy. I had to travel for 3 weeks and when I returned they were nearly totally devoured by aphids. Aside from unleashing a hord of ladybugs what should I do to get rid of these nasty critters?

  9. Anon,

    Sorry for the late reply. You could spray them with a strong jet of water from the hose or make an aphid killing solution of dish washing soap and water and apply regularly until they're all gone.

    Hope this helps.

  10. Anonymous7:30 PM

    I have been raising these gorgeous awesome flowers for several decades. My mothers story to me was that she purchased one bulb at the Chicago Flower Show back in the 1950's. My childhood memories of these plants were hug pots og giant green thick leaves but never any flowers. They were just a part of the back porch all summer. My mother passed away in 1990 due to ignorance of breast cancer. I took several of the pots out of sentimental value. I put them out for the summer just like she did. Nothing ever happened. Several years later I decided to break up what was in the pot. I fertilized each new planting. VIOLA!!!! A bloom! Oh the amazing scent of these flowers! I was hooked. I have kept the "mother bulbs" and taken the "babies" off and grown them to maturity. I've given them as gifts. Sold them at flea markets and beautified the neighborhood with their blooms all summer. I always heard my mom call them peruvian lillies. That's why I could never find info on them. Now I know! Daffodils! You can reach me at

  11. Anonymous7:51 PM

    I see from Anonymous above that these plants can be kept in pots. I want to do that but need to know if after the blooms die off do I cut the greenery back or just let it go. It's about 2 feet tall it had six blooms and they did have a nice scent. I plan to put it in a larger pot so I will be doing that. Any other advice on keeping this plant alive?



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