Sunday, August 15, 2010

There are naked ladies in my garden!

Did i get your attention? *lol* Nope, not human ladies, but these interesting pink lily-like blooms that suddenly appear on long naked stems in late summer around here. They're otherwise known as Lycoris squamigera...and have other wonderful nicknames like "magic lilies," "surprise lilies," and "resurrection lilies" which all refer to the fact that they suddenly seem to appear out of nowhere. In spring, a huge clump of big green strap-like leaves appears, much like daffodils, except there are no flowers, and the leaves go dormant and disappear as soon as the weather starts to warm up. And then in late July, early August, suddenly stems appear and rapidly produce clusters of pink blooms.

They are a wonderful pass-along plant, since they are easy to dig up after blooming (big clumps of bulbs) and transplant to wherever the garden soil is halfway decent and they will get at least half a day of sun. I'd never seen them before i moved to Virginia. In fact, the first place i saw them was along a vanished fenceline in Turnbull, an historically Black community not far from here. I thought people had stuck hundreds of silk flowers in a line along the road in front of an old church. Then i saw them in people's yards. And then the summer after i bought my house, they popped up in my own yard, from where i thought a disappointing clump of daffodils had disappeared!

(Did you notice that they're surrounded by a mass of English ivy, poison ivy, and some other sort of wild viney groundcover thing? And then on the other side there's a nice neat bed of mulch? The mulch is my nextdoor neighbor's yard!)


  1. We always loved the naked ladies when they bloomed.

  2. HA! Mommy got a chuckle out of the title of your post. Those are cool flowers...we don't suppose they'd do well in the desert.

  3. I've had those once and they are great - and they do resemble "naked ladies"

    P.S. Do you have the book "Passalong Plants" by Steve Bender and Felder Rushing? (It sounds like you do.) It's one of my favorite gardening books.