Inanda Lily

Scientific Name
Crinum moorei Hook.f.
Higher Classification
Crinum imbricatum Baker, Crinum macowanii Baker subsp. macowanii (in part), Crinum schmidtii Regel
Common Names
Boslelie (a), Inanda Lily (e), Natal Lily (e), Natallelie (a), Natal-lelie (a), Ngomi Lily (e), Ngomilelie (a), Rivierlelie (a), Umnduze (z)
National Status
Status and Criteria
Vulnerable A4de
Assessment Date
V.L. Williams, D. Raimondo, N.R. Crouch, A.B. Cunningham, C.R. Scott-Shaw, M. Lötter, A.M. Ngwenya, V.J. Brueton & A.P. Dold
It has declined by at least 20% over the past 70 years (two generations) and is expected to decline a further 10% in the next 20 years due to harvesting for the medicinal plant trade and predation by the amaryllis caterpillar.
South African endemic
Provincial distribution
Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal
Wild Coast and coastal KwaZulu-Natal as far north as Ngome.
Habitat and Ecology
Major system
Major habitats
Scarp Forest, Southern Mistbelt Forest, Eastern Valley Bushveld
Coastal and riverine forests, scarp forest, in damp or marshy places along watercourses, never in grassland.
Crinum spp. is threatened by harvesting for the medicinal plant trade. It is difficult to tell the species apart without flowering material, and the users and market traders do not distinguish between the species, hence they are all at risk of over-exploitation. The species most commonly found in the markets are Crinum bulbispermum, C. stuhlmannii, C. macowanii and C. moorei - the latter species being the most vulnerable due to its smaller distribution and possibly the most distinctive because of the neck that forms a false stem (Verdoorn 1973). Cunningham (1988) estimated that 122 bags of Crinum spp. (excluding C. bulbispermum) were sold between 54 traders in the Durban markets. Its vulnerability status was classed as 'indeterminate' i.e. it appears to be heavily exploited, but its vulnerability to harvesting is unknown and more data are required (Cunningham 1988). Williams (2007) recorded that the species occurred in 28% of muthi shops in Johannesburg in 1994, and was sold by 9% of the traders at the Faraday Street muthi market. The bulbs are usually very large (usually >10cm diameter) and very heavy, and are sold in moderate quantities throughout the market. Crinum moorei is sold in traditional medicine markets outside of its distribution range, e.g. the Faraday Street market in Johannesburg. It is usually smaller than the other Crinums and one can often identify it in the market because of its projecting neck (V.J. Brueton, pers. comm., 2008). The average diameter in the markets is 8.9±2.0cm It is not very prevalent in the Faraday market (probably <5% of individuals), but it does occur occasionally (V.J. Brueton, pers. comm., 2008). Interestingly, it has not been observed in the Eastern Cape muthi markets (A.P. Dold, pers. comm., 2008), which is within its range. The amaryllis caterpillar (Brithys crini) is a big threat to C. moorei and a stochastic factor in its extinction risk. The caterpillars are often encountered on the bulbs, and will kill the plant by boring down into it and eating the bulb from within (N.R. Crouch, pers. comm., 2008). Whole subpopulations can be destroyed. The caterpillar can eat as many bulbs as are produced, and several people, including N.R. Crouch have witnessed remote subpopulations in the Transkei infected with Brithys (pers. comm., 2008). Crinum moorei is the least common of all the Crinum species, is everywhere very sparse and is not often seen in the wild. Various people have reported its abundance in several localities: In Ngoye, it is patchy but not common; in Krantzkloof and Ngome forests it is not seen very often; at Mtentu, one could spend three days in the reserve and only see five plants (N.R. Crouch, pers. comm., 2008). In the Eastern Cape, A.P. Dold reports at having only seen it once or twice and there were only a couple of individuals present (A.P. Dold, pers. comm., 2008). Past harvesting for traditional medicine is believed to have led to the decline of the species.
Population trend
Assessment History
Taxon assessed
Status and Criteria
Citation/Red List version
Crinum moorei Hook.f.VU A4deRaimondo et al. (2009)
Crinum moorei Hook.f.Lower Risk - Least Concern Scott-Shaw (1999)

Cunningham, A.B. 1988. An investigation of the herbal medicine trade in Natal/KwaZulu. Investigational Report No. 29. Institute of Natural Resources, Pietermaritzburg.

Raimondo, D., von Staden, L., Foden, W., Victor, J.E., Helme, N.A., Turner, R.C., Kamundi, D.A. and Manyama, P.A. 2009. Red List of South African Plants. Strelitzia 25. South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria.

Scott-Shaw, C.R. 1999. Rare and threatened plants of KwaZulu-Natal and neighbouring regions. KwaZulu-Natal Nature Conservation Service, Pietermaritzburg.

Verdoorn, I.C. 1973. The genus Crinum in Southern Africa. Bothalia 11:27-52.

Williams, V.L. 2007. The design of a risk assessment model to determine the impact of the herbal medicine trade on the Witwatersrand on resources of indigenous plant species. Unpublished PhD Thesis, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

Williams, V.L., Raimondo, D., Crouch, N.R., Cunningham, A.B., Scott-Shaw, C.R., Lötter, M., Ngwenya, A.M., Brueton, V.J. & Dold, A.P. 2008. Crinum moorei Hook.f. National Assessment: Red List of South African Plants version 2017.1. Accessed on 2019/05/22

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Distribution map

© D.R. McKenzie

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