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Monday, October 4, 2010

Spider Lily of Malaysia

Spider Lily is a common name for a few species of lily plants depending on your geographical location. It can refer to Crinum Lily, Hymenocallis or Lycoris.

The scientific name of this plant is Hymenocallis littoralis. We can find lots of them in Malaysia. We just called them "Spider Lilies". Hymenocallis in Greek means "beautiful membrane". This flower is pure white in colour. It has 6 long and slender petals that are joined by a thin membrane. The plant can grow in watery soil near the beach and they can also survive in dry areas. 

During our childhood days, we like to rummage between the folds of their long green leaves in search of spiders. The beautiful black spiders are housed in empty matchboxes and brought to school hidden in the trouser pockets for a game of "spider fighting". The champion spider receives a lot of pampering and get to stay in a beautiful matchbox or tin container home. Sometimes, some sore losers may become unspotting and stomp on the winner, killing it. This brought a lot of tears and anguish to the owner. Spider fights may also lead to 'man fights' but it was just a game. Of course this is a boy's game. Girls play paper dolls and the pebble game.

Do you have a different spider lily in your area?
Have you ever played this game of spider fighting?

This is my entry for this week's The Weekend In Black And White. My grateful thanks to Dragonstar for hosting this wonderful site. To participate or view the world in monochrome, please click here.


  1. That is a nice monochrome for spider lilies. I laughed aloud in the game with spiders, with the loser stumping on the winner, hahaha. My nephew, Allen Dave, has been playing with spiders when younger, now he is 12 years old. I used to accompany him looking for the spiders which are brave, and those which are sissy or gays (those which run from fights). Do you know that Autumn Belle. I haven't seen those spiders when we were kids, so i join Allen looking for them, and it served our bonding time too, and i learned also from the kids. If i go to Malaysia maybe we should play spider games! What do you think?

  2. I have to admit that I don't like spiders, but the lilly is very beautiful.

  3. I recognised the flower straight away althogh I didn't know its name. I saw many of them in Malaysia and was taken with their gracefull appearance. I'm so glad you posted this Autumn Belle, now I know the name of this lovely flower.

  4. Interesting stories about the spider lily. I am, however, quite taken with the image itself. I like the shape of the flower, with its narrow curving petals, and the high-contrast of the black-and-white image.


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Autumn Belle


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