Pancratium maritimum - Sea Daffodil, or Sea Lily

Phylum: Magnoliophyta - Class: Liliopsida - Order: Asparagales - Family: Amaryllidaceae

Pancratium maritimum


Sea Daffodil Pancratium maritimum is a perennial monocot that grows from a bulb. Its dark-green strap-like leaves remain green through the winter months but sometimes turn brown just as the flowers are opening.. Each stem, typically 30cm long, bears an umbel of three or more daffodil-shaped white flowers typically 6 to 8cm across with six pointed petals and a white corola. It may sees surprising, but these pure-white flowers produce shiny black seeds some of which may be seen strewn around the plant often for several months after the flowers have died back.

Pancratium maritimum, closeup of flowers

Blooming times

The Sea Daffodil is one of the few flowers that bloom late in the year in the Mediterranean region, although its presence is obvious throughout the year because its long, tough leaves can be found on beaches right up until the plant produces flowers between July and October.


Not only can this remarkable plant withstand the soaring temperatures of a Mediterranean summer, but it is also specially adapted to thrive in the harsh, salt-laden conditions of the sandy beaches which are its home.


These plants can be seen throughout the Mediterranean region, including many sites along the coast of the Algarve in southern Portugal. The specimens shown on this page were found in Spain during July.

Please Help Us: If you have found this information interesting and useful, please consider helping to keep First Nature online by making a small donation towards the web hosting and internet costs.

Any donations over and above the essential running costs will help support the conservation work of Plantlife, the Rivers Trust and charitable botanic gardens - as do author royalties and publisher proceeds from books by Pat and Sue.

© 1995 - 2022 First Nature: a not-for-profit volunteer-run resource

Please help to keep this free resource online...

Terms of use - Privacy policy - Disable cookies - Links policy