This section is from the book "Handbook Of Hardy Trees, Shrubs, And Herbaceous Plants", by W. Botting Hemsley. Also available from Amazon: Handbook of hardy trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants.
A noble genus of bulbous herbs belonging to the group with a corona or cup at the mouth of the perianth. Leaves lorate, either deciduous or persistent. Flowers white, borne in umbels on the summit of a solid scape. Perianth-tube long, straight, slightly enlarged upwards; limb six-parted, spreading. Cup large, lobed, bearing six stamens between the lobes. The name is derived from the Greek words all, and powerful, from the reputed medicinal properties of the species. Two similar species are not uncommon in our gardens.
1. P. martimum. - Leaves linear, persistent; flowers larger than in No. 2, and nearly sessile. From the Mediterranean region.
2. P. Illyricum (fig. 241). - Leaves broad, ligulate, deciduous, strongly veined. Flowers pedicellate, smaller, and with a shorter tube than in the preceding. Also from the Mediterranean region, though less widely dispersed. Both are hardy in the South of England, and flower in June.
Fig. 241. Pancratium Illyricum. (1/4 nat. size.)
P. Carolinianum and P. rotatum, North American species, also white-flowered, are occasionally seen. The former closely resembles P. maritimum, and is sometimes united with it. The leaves are narrow, less acute, and not so intensely glaucous; the latter is perhaps better known as Hymenocdllis rotata, differing from Pancratium in the scarcely dilated perianth-tube, flattened scape, and other particulars.