Alice Springs Desert Park

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The Sandover Lily (Crinum flaccidum) is a perennial species of the family Amaryllidae that is endemic to inland Australia, although considered rare in the Northern Territory and on the vulnerable species list in Victoria.

The flowers are strongly scented, and some people find the smell unpleasant, hence the nickname ‘Stink Lily’. The flowers are yellowish to creamy and white. It has six petals, in groups of 4-16 flowers at the top of the stem.

The Warlpiri and Anmatyerr peoples use the bulb for medicinal purposes. It is rubbed on sores or itchy areas of skin, or used to make a medicinal wash. The bulb is bitter and considered poisonous in Central Australia.1

Common name
Sandover Lily, Darling Lily, Andamooka Lily, Murray Lily, Macquarie Lily, Desert Lily. Some regions spell it with two L’s, as in Darling Lilly.


  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Clade: Tracheophytes
  • Clade: Angiosperms
  • Clade: Monocots
  • Order: Asparagales
  • Family: Amaryllidaceae
  • Subfamily: Amaryllidoideae
  • Genus: Crinum
  • Species: C. flaccidum
  • Binomial name: Crinum flaccidum

Footnote & References

  1. Peter Latz, Bushfires and Bushtucker Aboriginal Plant Use in Central Australia, IAD Press, Alice Springs, 2004, Crinum flaccidum (Sandover lily), p152
  2. Crinum flaccidum, Flora of Australia Online, http://www.anbg.gov.au/abrs/online-resources/flora/stddisplay.xsql?pnid=58185
  3. Common Plants of the Roxby Downs Region, https://www.roxbydowns.sa.gov.au/lifestyleandsport/visitor-information/attractions/common-plants
  4. Yellow Lilies – A changeable landscape: recollections of Woomera, by Sally, 23 June 2018, http://listeningtothepast.com.au/2018/06/landscape-after-rain/
  5. Weird and wonderful plants of South Australia, by J.G. Conran, Board of the Botanic Gardens & State Herbarium (Adeliade, South Australia), https://data.environment.sa.gov.au/Content/Publications/JABG30P043_Conran.pdf
  6. Crinum flaccidum, https://keys.lucidcentral.org/keys/v3/scotia/key/Plants%20and%20Fungi%20of%20south%20western%20NSW/Media/Html/Crinum_flaccidum.htm

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