Sunday, August 13, 2006

Another Mystery

A few years ago I got these bulbs from someone. It was either my mother or a neighbor's mother. I was told at the time that the bulb would send up foliage in the spring that would die back by summer; then in the fall, the bulb would send up stalks that would bear some pink lily-like flowers. I planted these about two or three years ago. Each year I did get the foliage just as they had said that I would, but there was never a stalk to be seen in the fall.

Well earlier this week as I was going to work, I see this:

I knew I was finally getting flowers. Oooo! What would they look like? I was giddy with anticipation!

This morning one of the buds finally opened up.

Interesting. Delicately beautiful. A little exotic - I like that.

But what are they?


Blogger SierraBella said...

Not sure though.
Awfully pretty!

8/13/2006 4:33 PM  
Blogger Zoey said...

I think it's Surprise Lily. Also called Magic Lily, Resurrection Lily, Naked many names.

8/13/2006 8:01 PM  
Blogger Sandy said...

I've never seen these before. Beautiful though!!!

8/14/2006 10:00 AM  
Blogger OldRoses said...

Those are great! How tall are they? They look like some kind of lily.

8/14/2006 10:42 AM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

Sierrabella, I looked at some pictures of that, and I don't think that is what it is. Right now it has no leaves whatsoever.

Zoey, that's it. Do you know anything about it?

Sandy, I think that when this multplies and fills in a bigger area it will be quite a show!

OldRoses, they are about 30-36 high. A little too high maybe for where I have them - in the front of the bed. But now I don't want to move them. I will wait until they get established and just move a few at a time to make sure I don't lose everything.

8/15/2006 8:38 AM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

The only problem with them being Naked Ladies would be that everything that I read for that plant says that they are hardy at the most to zone 6 and I am 4-5!!

8/15/2006 8:47 AM  
Blogger crazygramma said...

Those are great. Well worth the wait.

8/15/2006 9:52 AM  
Blogger Zoey said...

Sorry, Sylvana, I don't know a thing about them as I don't have any. Maybe because I live in zone 5??

I've heard often of gardeners who somehow managed to keep a plant going that was not meant for their zone. Maybe you have them in a little micro climate that's warmer?

8/15/2006 10:58 AM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

CrazyGramma, I think so too!

Zoey, well, they look and act just like the naked ladies, so I'm pretty sure that is what they are. I read that there were some varieties that came from Japan. Perhaps these are an even colder hardy variety? If I got these from my mom, they are even further north than I am and she has been growing these for years. Which is weird, because I don't remember ever seeing them even though they grew right out the back door!

As far as microclimate, I have trouble growing a lot of things that say that they are zone 5 unless I protect them, so I'm not sure a zone 6 would stand a chance! But maybe I picked just the right spot in my garden. Hey, weirder things have happend in my garden.

8/16/2006 9:57 AM  
Blogger Carol said...

I'm in zone 5 and I have surprise lilies and have had no problems. They produce their foliage in the spring and then flowered on their naked stalks a few weeks ago. Lots of people have them around here.

8/19/2006 7:31 PM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

Carol, I must not be finding the variety in my searches that we can grow. They say that these are actually an amaryllis. No wonder I like this flower so much!

8/21/2006 9:00 AM  
Blogger Tani said...

The latin name for the bulb is lycoris,also known as surprise lilies or naked ladies.These babies are about $8 a bulb,so they are a great gift for sure,I got mine from an old home site in a empty field across from my neighbors house,and they get better each year.As you found out I think they resent the move and take a few years to flower afterward.I believe there is a distant cousin that is red,but not sure of hardiness,I just seem to recall seeing them in a bulb catalog.

8/23/2006 9:27 PM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

Tani, when my mom was telling me about these bulbs, she said that a florist friend of hers said that the bulbs of this particular plant sold for as much $40 each. But my mom is a big misrepresenter-of-the-truth so I wasn't sure what to make of that.

8/24/2006 8:59 AM  
Blogger Sue said...

Hi Sylvana,

I was going to say Naked Ladies but I see that others have beaten me to it.

Have only just found your site and really like it. I only started reading gardening blogs - and writing my own - this summer, and am completely hooked. Would you like to swap links? You can find me at :

Let me know.

8/26/2006 1:09 PM  
Blogger Hanna said...

They are Naked Ladies.

They do go for as much as that, but this because they are primarily a "pass along" plant.

It's really tough to find them in catalogs. They are so lovely that people who don't know someone who grows them will pay that much for them.

8/27/2006 10:37 PM  
Blogger IBOY said...

Specifically, you have Lycoris squamigera; there are some other, iffier species. I've been meaning to try one or two others, but never get around to it. they are, indeed, the ultimate passalong. I got mine from my Mom's clump (which is still going strong, completely neglected after 50 years). It is said there is still a clump growing in Elizabeth Lawrence's garden after perhaps 75 years.

10/24/2006 9:04 PM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

Sue, oops! I totally missed these comments. But I have finally linked you. The more gardeners, the merrier!

Hanna, I don't understand why more companies wouldn't sell this while they are selling plants like liatris (totally all over my garden and I give bunches of it away every spring!!)

iboy, welcome to my blog! Thanks for the info. I will do my part in passing some of these along when they multiply enough.

7/25/2007 10:32 AM  

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