Monographs Details: Hymenocallis declinata (Jacq.) Sweet
Authority: Britton, Nathaniel L. Flora Borinqueña.
Description:Species Description - Abundant on coastal sands, and locally inland, the Spider Lily is one of the largest-flowered, wild, herbaceous plants of the West Indian Flora, attractive and decorative, readily grown from its bulbs, and frequently planted. Its range extends from Bermuda and the Bahamas, southward to Montserrat; it is the only species of its genus existing in Porto Rico.
Hymenocallis (Greek, beautiful membrane, referring to the cup-like part of the flower on which the stamens are borne), was established as a genus by the English botanist Salisbury in 1812; about 30 species are known, all American in distribution. They have coated bulbs, bearing large, narrow, fleshy, untoothed leaves and large, long, clustered flowers at the top of a usually tall, leafless, solid stem (scape). The flowers are subtended by large, membranous bracts; they have a slender, cylindric tube and 6, narrow, spreading or recurved segments; the 6 stamens are separate above, but united and expanded below into a membranous cup which is shorter than the segments of the perianth; the anthers are attached at their middle to the slender filaments; the pistil has a 3-celled ovary with 2 ovules in each cell, and a long, slender style topped by a small stigma. The fruit is a fleshy capsule, containing 1 or 2 large, green seeds.
The bulbs of Hymenocallis declinata, (declined or bending) reach about 8 centimeters in diameter and are nearly globular. The leaves are narrowly oblong, stalkless, rather dark green, pointed or blunt, from 40 to 70 centimeters long, 3.5 to 6.5 centimeters wide; the stout, somewhat flattened, flowering stem is about as long as the leaves, or shorter; the bracts are pointed and from 3 to 6 centimeters long. The 5 or more, fragrant, white flowers are without stalks; the slender tube from 5 to 10 centimeters long, the narrow segments 8 to 12 centimeters long, the staminal cup is 3 or 4 centimeters long. The capsule is depressed-globose almost 3 centimeters in diameter.
Pancratium declinatum Jacquin, Selectarum Stirpium Americanum Historia 99. 1763.
Hymenocallis declinata M. Roemer, Familiarum Naturalium Regni Vegetabilis 4: 171. 1847.