Finding Crinum macowanii, the river lily, in flower on the banks of the Steelpoort River is a special moment for anybody looking out for what nature offers. The bulbs of these plants may be more than 50 cm deep in the soft earth that accumulates over time according to the flow of the river.
The plant is found widespread across the eastern parts of South Africa and through eastern tropical Africa to Ethiopia.
This species is thought to be the easiest of the crinums to cultivate. This is so because it produces such a large amount of seed that germinates easily and yields flowering plants within three years. The habitat includes mountainous areas as well as open grassland (Manning, 2009; www.pacificbulbsociety.org; www.plantzafrica.com).