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Common Name : Ceylon Spider Lily      -       Scientific Name : Pancratium zeylanicum (Amaryllidaceae)       -       Other Name : Wal- lunu (S), Rain Flower (E)
Kali Villu

Pancriatum is a bulbous genus in the Amaryllidaceae family found in tropical Asia, tropical Africa, the Mediterranean and Canary Islands. It is commonly believed that the flowers of this genus are induced by rain.

The Ceylon Spider Lily is an indigenous species, which is also found through out tropical Asia.  Other than the above, which is commonly found in the low country, one other very rare species (P. biflorum) that belong to this genus is recorded from the country.

I have observed the flowers of the Ceylon Spider Lily in June 2007 in the Ritigala Strict Natural Reserve and photographed the Blue Wanderer (species of butterfly) feeding on the flower. The pollinator of this flower, however, is a moth with a very long proboscis. The fresh flowers of this species produce a pleasant fragrance.

In Wilpattu I photographed this flower close to Kali Villu on the 10th of April 2010. These flowers appear to bloom at the beginning of the rainy season.