The Giant Spider lily is a beautifully fragrant and exotic flower that produces a very strong fragrance in the evening. Classified as a “vespertine” plant because it is a night bloom its flowers are white so that they are easier to find by pollinators. At Dzamling Gar there are eight of these magnificent Spider plants to be found in Rinpoche’s garden.
It is truly a “Giant” because the entire plant can grow up to 10 feet while the leaves can reach 6 feet in length. Each flower has six petals that spill out from the center like an umbrella, either pure white or the most beautiful rich wine color. The name “lily” is misleading, since the plant isn't a member of the Lily Family, but rather belongs to the Amaryllis Family.
This plant was also named after Queen Emma (1836-1885) of Hawaii, who was queen consort of King Kamehameha IV and particularly fond of the plant, even though it wasn't native to Hawaii.
Although it is a poisonous flower, its leaves and bulb are used for making various herbal medicines. The bulb is crushed and made into an ointment or poultice for rheumatoid arthritis, fevers and headaches. The succulent leaves are used for sprains, earaches, fractures, swelling and inflammation. Fresh, bruised leaves serve as an insect repellent and dried leaves boiled in water make a remedy for haemorrhoids.