Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Pancratium maritimum.........Sea Lily

There is a beach, usually deserted, just east of Motril Port named  'Playa Azucenas'.

This beach is linked to the legend of the appearance of the image of the Virgen de la Cabeza, patron saint of Motril.


 The beach gets it's name from  the Sea Lily.

 The Sea Lily,  Pancratium maritimum,  is also known as Sand Daffodil or Sand Lily and the Lily of St. Nicholas.
In  Castellano it is called Azucena marina, Nardo marino or Amor mío.  

The flower has a pleasing, exotic and very subtle lily scent, which only becomes apparent during still, windless summer nights that allow its delicate fragrance to become perceptible. 

This wild flower is an endangered member of the Amaryllidaceae family and as thus, is protected.

 The sea lily inhabits the dunes and beaches of the coast and has adapted to survive with limited water. The white color and coating of hair are some of the most common plants that live in these ecosystems. Not only do they hold water but avoid losing them. The shape of the corolla atrompetada contributes to the maximum water collection, albeit in a spray form, vital for survival under these conditions.


Time past, the lilies were abundant on Motril's coast giving rise to the name, Beach of the Lilies but now the lilies and the beach are reduced by the expansion of the port.

Motril hopes  that future generations will  continue to know, appreciate and defend, this species now extinct in the natural habitats of the Granadino coast.