Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Red Spider Lily

About a month ago, I was writing about Lycoris squamigera (better known as "Naked Ladies") and now her cousins, Lycoris radiata (also known as Red Spider Lily or Hurricane Lily) is sprinkling the neighborhoods with their bright red flowers. Grown from bulbs, red spider lilies seem to thrive on neglect and the prettiest ones are usually in the poorest soils. Do you have hard red clay? No problems! They thrive in it. The bulbs are hard to find in nurseries and most people get them from friends and trade lists. They multiply rapidly regardless of drought.

Like the Naked Ladies, these plants grow in the same manner, appearing out of nowhere in early fall and blooming with no foliage. The foliage appears after the bloom and grows throughout the winter. Shade is not a problem for these bulbs as long as they are planted under deciduous trees because they will get the winter sun to develop the nutrients for next fall's bloom.

Although they are usually seen sprinkled here and there in lawns, they made a statement when planted in masses. The big splashes of red are a sure sign that fall has arrived.

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