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.


  1. I had some come up I suppose from a previous owner. I didn't know what they were at first. Thank goodness I didn't chop them down before I figured it out! They are so delicate-looking and beautiful!

  2. So Beautiful! I have some that mysteriously appeared a couple of years ago. I have absolutely no idea whence they came. We have lived here almost twenty years, maybe it was the Garden Fairy:)

  3. They do have a tendency to pop up in odd places. I'm not sure how they do that.

  4. Pretty photo, Phillip--they provide fabulous color, don't they? We threw some away by mistake once (digging a bed in spring)--the dirt we moved in May (heavy clay) was alive with flowers in October.

  5. These are gorgeous. I don't beleive they grow in zone 6 which is where I am located. I have never seen them any place around here. I would surely have them if they did grow here.

  6. I was just talking about trying these, so I appreciate your post and photos. Thanks, Cameron

  7. i always enjoy reading your posts...even if it creates a little envy on my part!

    Also...very handsome containers that you designed! Have you ever heard/seen Rita Randolph speak or visited her family's nursery in Jackson, TN...she specializes in containers and is a total hoot to talk to...passionate and enjoyable. There are some good pics on their web site, randolphsgreenhouses dot com if you interested.

    Congratulations on those beautiful combinations...i look forward to seeing what you come up with for this new season.

  8. I went and photographed some my neighbor has. They are so pretty and look so delicate that you think they would need rich soil, but hers are planted in red sand.~~Dee

  9. Hi Phillip,

    What a great addition for the fall garden.
    I have not seen these here.
    Thanks for showcasing such an interesting plant.

  10. Those are gorgeous, that red is a knock out. I had some when I lived in Alabama and loved them.

  11. Hey, hey Phillip! ;0) I did not use to care for lycoris radiata, but this year for some reason, I have become fascinated with them! Randy dug up a majority of ours by the driveway to trade off for other plants, etc. I see these growing here, there and everywhere, but not for long. I am going to carry a spade in the trunk of my car and small box and when I see these lil' beauties growing somewhere haphazard, they're going in my trunk to come home with me!!

  12. I just found out what these were yesterday. So many people call them naked ladies around here, thats what I thought they were, but now I know! I love your flowers you did downtown, they are beautiful! I live in Sheffield and am trying to get my flowers going. Mandy

  13. Hi Phillip, thanks for the info on these. I have the pink ones and just ordered a pot on one, not cheap either from plant delights. It has foliage showing now, a good sign. I hope it will multiply for a good show later. I also ordered some oxblood lilies from southern bulb company but they haven't arrived yet. They are also called schoolhouse lilies and hurricane lilies, just like the spiders. I have read that extra water is what makes them pop up, could that be true?

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  14. That is quite the cluster of spiders there! They look so wonderful and bright. I bet they glow...

  15. Hey there Phillip,

    I came to a screeching halt and backed up a road over some Naked Ladies last week. No one has lived in that house since I moved to this state and there they were shocking red beauties in the unmowed grass. Had I a shovel, they would have been relocated!

    In answer to your question on my new not long ago ... and oh so not current blog - yes Lost In The flowers is replacing Guilty Gardener.

    I have been so busy writing to earn a living I have just fallen so behind on everything else I was once on top of. I hope to get everything under control again soon. Don't loose faith. In the meantime, you can read some of my more boring writing at The majority of content on this site was written by non other than moi.

    Have a great day,
    Lost In The Flowers

  16. Gorgeous. I have some passalong from my dad and it's the first year so I think I may not get much. But I'm looking forward to more in the future.

  17. These flowers always make me smile, they are my grandmother's favorite flower and as a young girl I would always pick a large bunch of them. I would love to plant tons of them in my yard. What a beautiful photo of the spiders, you don't often see these but they are so interesting.


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