Pancratium maritimum, Sea daffodil, Sea pancratium lily,
Hebrew: חבצלת החוף, Arabic: نرجس بحري

Scientific name:  Pancratium maritimum L.
Common name:  Sea daffodil, Sea pancratium lily
Hebrew name:  חבצלת החוף
Arabic name:  نرجس بحري
Family:  Amaryllidaceae, נרקיסיים

Fleurs de Terre Sainte, Blumen aus dem Heiligen Lande, Flores en Tierra Santa

Life form:  Geophyte, bulbous perennial
Stems:  Up to 40 cm high
Leaves:  Rosette, entire, glaucos, appearing before anthesis
Inflorescence:  3-15 flowers in an umbel
Flowers:  White, 10-15cm; perianth-segments 30-50mm, linear-lanceolate, shorter than hypanthial tube; and less than twice as long as corona; margin with 12 triangular teeth
Fruits / pods:  Capsule subglobose
Flowering Period:   August, September, October
Habitat:   Mediterranean strand
Distribution:  Mediterranean Woodlands and Shrublands
Chorotype:   Mediterranean
Summer shedding:   Ephemeral

Pancratium maritimum, Sea daffodil, Sea pancratium lily, חבצלת החוף

Derivation of the botanical name:
Pancratium, pan, "all"; krotion, "power"; means the 'all-powerful,' like Jesus as the Pankrator in Byzantine art. Pantokrator was used to translate the Hebrew title El Shaddai.
maritimum, "coastal."
The Hebrew name for the flower is חבצלת החוף (Chavazelet Hachof), and it is also generally accepted, that the Rose of Sharon (shoshan, חבצלת השרון, Chavazelet Hasharon), mentioned in the Song of Solomon (Song of Songs 2:1-2), is identified with the Pancratium maritimum, but without justification.
  • The standard author abbreviation L. is used to indicate Carl Linnaeus (1707 – 1778), a Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist, the father of modern taxonomy.
Pancratium maritimum is a bulbous perennial, growing deeply buried in highly threatened Mediterranean habitats: the sand fields and dunes in the coastal area.
This species became rare because of destruction of the coast by urbanism.
The Pancratium species are toxic plants! The bulbs contain more than 20 alkaloids and some other substances (lectine...).
There were ethnobotanical and/or medicinal uses with Pancatium: Pancratium maritimum has anti-fungal activity.
The "Rose of Sharon" blooms in the spring of the year and the Pancratium maritimum blooms in August, September and October.
According to Michael Zohary, Plants of the Bible, the Pancratium maritimum and the Narcissus are considered by some to be the biblical lily (shoshan), but without justification.

Bible resources:
  • Hosea 14:5
    I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon.

Pancratium maritimum, Sea daffodil, Sea pancratium lily, חבצלת החוף

Flowers of Israel online
Location: Nof Yam coast

Flowers of Israel online
Location: Herzliya coast