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Pancratium maritimum - Sea Daffodil


Sea Daffodil is an exotic lily that grows wild on the island of Crete. It looks like a fancy white daffodil, but is twice as tall, incredibly fragrant, and it thrives in hot sandy soil. The foliage appears in winter, then fades before the flowers bloom in summer.

The frilly white blossoms open in the late afternoon. They spend the night seducing giant moths. Their lovely fragrance is so exotic that it keeps marauding sheep away (a problem in Crete). Might do the same with deer. People love it.

Pancratium blooms on tall stems from bulbs buried deep in the sand. It will thrive in a coastal garden or any hot, sunny spot with sandy soil. Hardy in zones 8-11, it will tolerate chilly temps, but does need summer heat to flower. If you don't live at the beach, add a pinch of salt to the soil. Really.

This beauty is disappearing from Mediterranean beaches, where tourism is trampling its habitat. Grow some just to preserve this beauty.

Soak seeds for 24 hours, then sow in sandy soil when the weather warms. Germination may take a month or more, but once established, the bulbs will spread into a magnificent sweep. This treasure is worth waiting for.

5 rare seeds

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