Naked Ladies

Also called Surprise Lily, Magic Lily and Resurrection Lily, Lycoris squamigera is an exciting addition to the late summer garden.

Before I moved to my current home, I had never seen or heard of Lycoris. It was one of the bulbs inherited with the place, and the first spring we were here I was a bit baffled by the strappy foliage that emerged at the edge of the lawn and never bloomed. Later that season I was delighted to spy a bunch of bare stems topped by clusters of pale pink blooms standing above the grass in the same exact spot. A-ha! Now that I had a flower and bloom time to jump start the plant id search, it was easy to discover it was Lycoris squamigera, whose common names are most perfectly suited.

Now gardening for my fifth season here, I am annoyed to reveal that the Lycoris are still blooming in the middle of the lawn. Moving them to a better home has been on the To Do List for years. Maybe it’ll get done this fall after the blooms have faded, and if I remember to mark the area.

Lycoris squamigera is a hardy, deer resistant bulb in the amaryllis family. Plant bulbs in full sun to part shade. Old House Gardens ships bulbs in October and Brent and Becky’s ships in June. (I wonder if you can find these bulbs for sale in stores locally?) Foliage grows about 12-18″ tall in spring and flower scapes are 24″ tall in late summer (Aug).

Lycoris are said to be extremely long lived, and have been grown since the late 1800s. Driving down the road I’ve spied some Lycoris blooming in my neighbors’ yards as well, and like to wonder just how long ago they were passed along by the areas previous gardeners…

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