Swazi Lily Crinum moorei

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Hard-care
lily of the Orinoco


The plant in question, commonly known as the Moore's crinum, presents itself with a lush, bulbous base from which springs forth robust, arching leaves that exhibit a glossy green texture, imparting a tropical feel to its surroundings. As the leaves mature, they develop a graceful strap-like appearance. This plant's visual spectacle culminates in an extravagant floral display. The flowers, typically large and trumpet-shaped, emerge on tall sturdy stalks, unfurling to showcase a palette of white to pink hues with a tendency to darken as they age. Each blossom radiates a delightful fragrance that can elevate the sensory experience of any garden. These sumptuous blooms often appear in clusters, enhancing the visual impact of the Moore's crinum. The overall impression of this plant is one of stately elegance, with its glossy foliage and resplendent flowers attracting onlookers and wildlife alike.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Moore´s Crinum, Natal Lily, Moore's Lily, Swamp Lily

    • Common names

      Crinum moorei

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The Swazi Lily is known to be toxic to humans if ingested. The plant contains alkaloids, such as lycorine, which can cause symptoms including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. In severe cases, ingesting the Swazi Lily could lead to more serious health consequences, such as respiratory difficulties, irregular heartbeat, and even seizures. All parts of the plant are considered poisonous and should be handled with care to prevent accidental ingestion.

    • To pets

      Swazi Lily is also poisonous to pets, and they can experience symptoms similar to humans if any part of the plant is ingested. These symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, abdominal pain, and loss of appetite. In severe cases, it can lead to tremors, seizures, and potentially life-threatening conditions. Pet owners should ensure that their pets do not have access to this plant to prevent the risk of poisoning.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      3 feet [0.91 meters]

    • Spread

      3 feet [0.91 meters]

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      South Africa


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Value: Crinum moorei, commonly known as Moore's Crinum, is highly valued for its attractive foliage and large, showy flowers, making it a popular choice for gardeners and landscapers looking to enhance the visual appeal of their spaces.
    • Habitat for Wildlife: The large flowers of Moore's Crinum provide nectar and attract pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, thereby supporting local ecosystems and biodiversity.
    • Erosion Control: With its robust root system, Moore's Crinum can help stabilize soil and prevent erosion in areas where this might be a concern, especially on slopes or banks near water bodies.
    • Low Maintenance: Once established in an appropriate environment, Moore's Crinum is a low-maintenance plant that can tolerate drought and does not require frequent watering, which makes it suitable for xeriscaping and sustainable gardening practices.
    • Tolerance to Pests and Diseases: Moore's Crinum has a natural resistance to many pests and diseases, reducing the need for chemical treatments and making it an environmentally friendly option for the garden.
    • Cultural Significance: In some cultures, Crinum moorei is used in traditional events and practices, and it has a role in the horticultural heritage of certain regions, adding cultural value to gardens and landscapes.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Analgesic properties: Extracts of Crinum moorei have been reported to have pain-relieving effects.
    • Anti-inflammatory effects: Some studies suggest that compounds within Crinum moorei exhibit anti-inflammatory activity.
    • Antitumor activity: Certain alkaloids found in Crinum moorei might have potential antitumor properties, although this is largely based on preliminary research.
    • Antioxidant capability: Crinum moorei may contain antioxidants that help in scavenging free radicals creating a potential for therapeutic use.
    Reference: 1. Fennell CW, Lindsey KL, McGaw LJ, et al. Assessing African medicinal plants for efficacy and safety: pharmacological screening and toxicology. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2004;94(2-3):205-217. 2. Nair JJ, van Staden J. Pharmacological and toxicological insights to the South African Amaryllidaceae. Food and Chemical Toxicology. 2013;62:262-275. 3. Al-Snafi AE. The pharmacological activities of Cissus quadrangularis - an overview. Int J PharmTech Res. 2016;9(3):129-136.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Crinum moorei bulbs can be used as a natural pest deterrent in gardens. Their strong scent is believed to repel certain rodents and deer.
    • The large leaves of the Crinum moorei can be used in tropical-themed floral arrangements to add greenery and structure.
    • In ponds or water gardens, Crinum moorei can provide aesthetic value and create a natural habitat for aquatic wildlife.
    • The tough fibers found in the leaves of the Crinum moorei plant were sometimes used historically to create woven craft items or ropes.
    • The sap of Crinum moorei has been traditionally used as a natural adhesive in some cultures.
    • Crinum moorei can be planted as a living fence or privacy barrier due to its size and dense growth habit.
    • The plant's sturdy leaves can serve as a natural mulch, helping to retain soil moisture and suppress weeds when they fall and decompose.
    • Crinum moorei's striking appearance and large, trumpet-shaped flowers make it suitable for use in botanic gardens and educational displays about biodiversity.
    • The seeds of Crinum moorei can be used in jewelry making, especially in cultures where seed jewelry is part of traditional attire.
    • Large clumps of Crinum moorei can be utilized in landscape designs to create a focal point or to enhance the aesthetic appeal of garden pathways.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Cape Lily is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Cape Lily is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Resilience: The Crinum moorei, commonly known as the Swamp Lily, is known for its hardiness and ability to thrive in various conditions, symbolizing resilience and adaptability in the face of challenges.
    • Purity: With its elegant white flowers, the Swamp Lily often represents purity and innocence, similar to many other white-flowered plants.
    • Beauty and Elegance: The striking appearance and gracious blooms of the Swamp Lily symbolize natural beauty and a sense of refinement.
    • Renewal: As many lilies do, Swamp Lilies can serve as a symbol of rebirth and new beginnings, often associated with their perennial nature and regrowth each season.
    • Transcendence: The way Swamp Lilies rise above the water in swampy environments suggests a theme of transcending difficulties, often representing an overcoming of emotional challenges.

Every 7-10 days
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 3-5 years
Spring to summer
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    Water the Swamp Lily (Crinum moorei) thoroughly, ensuring the water reaches deep into the soil to encourage a strong root system. Provide approximately 1 gallon of water every 7 to 10 days during active growing seasons, Spring and Summer, when the plant is outside. During the dormant period in the fall and winter, reduce watering to half a gallon every 10 to 14 days. Always allow the top inch of the soil to dry out before watering again to prevent waterlogging. Overwatering can cause bulb rot, so it's vital to ensure good drainage in the pot or garden bed where the Swamp Lily is planted.

  • sunLight

    The Swamp Lily prefers bright, indirect light or partial shade for optimal growth. A spot that receives a few hours of morning sunlight followed by dappled shade in the afternoon would be ideal. Avoid exposing the plant to harsh, direct afternoon sunlight, which can scorch its leaves.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The Swamp Lily thrives in warm conditions and does best in temperatures between 60 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. It can tolerate short periods of colder weather down to 40 degrees Fahrenheit, but frost can damage the plant. The ideal temperature range ensures healthy growth and abundant flowering.

  • scissorsPruning

    Prune the Swamp Lily to remove spent flowers and yellowing leaves to encourage new growth and maintain a tidy appearance. This can be done throughout the growing season as needed. The best time to prune extensively is after flowering has finished, which is typically in late summer or early fall.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Natal lily prefers a well-drained soil mix consisting of two parts loam, one part sand, and one part compost. The ideal soil pH should be between 6.0 and 6.5 to ensure optimal growth.

  • plantRepotting

    Natal lilies should be repotted every 2 to 3 years or when they outgrow their current pot, as they prefer to be slightly root-bound.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Natal lily thrives in moderate to high humidity levels, ideally between 50% and 70%.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place Natal lily in bright, indirect light with ample humidity.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in partial shade with shelter from strong winds.

    • Hardiness zone

      9-11 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Crinum moorei, commonly known as Moore's Crinum, begins its life cycle when a seed germinates, typically requiring a warm and moist environment to trigger the growth of its initial roots and shoot. As a bulbous plant, Moore's Crinum then develops a bulb underground which serves as a storage organ and from which foliage and a central flowering stalk will emerge. The leaves are strap-shaped, and as the plant matures, it produces fragrant, trumpet-shaped flowers on tall stalks, usually during the warmer months. After pollination, which can occur through the intervention of insects or self-pollination, the plant can produce fruit in the form of a capsule containing seeds. These seeds can be dispersed by various means, and upon finding a suitable location, will germinate and grow into a new plant, continuing the cycle. Moore's Crinum goes into a period of dormancy during colder months, with the bulb remaining alive underground until favorable conditions return.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring to summer

    • Crinum moorei, commonly known as the Natal lily, is typically propagated through division, which is the most popular method. The best time for this is late winter or early spring, just before the new growth cycle begins. To propagate Natal lily by division, carefully lift the mother plant from the soil and gently separate the offsets, which are smaller bulbs that have developed around the base of the parent bulb. These offsets can then be planted directly into the soil at a depth where the top of the bulb is just below the surface. Ensure that the soil is well-draining and that the location receives partial to full sunlight. The newly planted offsets should be spaced about 12 inches (roughly 30 centimeters) apart to provide each plant with enough space to grow. Water the new plants well to help establish roots and encourage new growth.