Crinum asiaticum L.

Crinum asiaticum L.




Crinum amabile Donn., Crinum macrantherum Engl., Crinum defixum auct. non Ker Gawl., Crinum macrophyllum Hallier.

Vernacular Names

Malaysia Bakong, bawang hutan (General).
English Crinum lily, poison bulb.
Indonesia Bakung (General), kajang-kajang (Palembang), fete-fete (Ternate).
Philippines Bakong (General), agabahan (Bisaya), biliba (Subanun).
Thailand Phlapphueng (Central), lilua (Northern).
Vietnam N[as]ng hoa tr[aws]ng, t[or]i voi, l[as] n[as]ng.
Papua New Guinea Morabau (Kabulula, Trobriand Islands), didil (Lesu, New Ireland), pokaan (Western Highlands).
French Crinole asiatique.

Geographical Distributions

Crinum asiaticum is distributed from India to Southeast Asia, north-western Australia and Polynesia.


C. asiaticum is a herb about 1-1.8 m tall, with a bulb measures about 5-15 cm in diametre and many bulblets present. It has a false stem up to 50 cm long and clothed with old leaf sheaths.

The leaves are 20-30 narrowly to broadly elliptical. The size of its leaf is 50-150 cm x 3.5-20 cm, lower horizontal, and upper semi-erect. Its margins are entire and smooth. The umbel is 10-50-flowered.

The stalk of inflorescence measures between 50-100 cm long while bracts measure 9-16 cm x 3-5 cm in size and pale. The flowers are fragrant at night. It is white but sometimes pink. The stalk of each individual flower measures 0.5-2.5 cm long. The filaments of stamens are slender and measure 3.5-7 cm long.

The fruits are beaked and fleshy. It is yellowish-green. The seeds are egg-shaped, 1-5-seeded and often angular.

Ecology / Cultivation

C. asiaticum is extremely polymorphic, and found along sandy shores and shaded, humid localities at low altitudes.

Line Drawing / Photograph



  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No.12(2): Medicinal and poisonous plants 2.