Thursday, October 3, 2013

What is this plant?

Michele K.Koskinen

On a recent visit to Cape May I observed a plant that had no leaves, a tall stalk, and flowers like a lily. I asked the owner of the home and she explained they were perennial amaryllis and they were in the garden when she purchased her house.. They grow leaves in the spring that die off, and magically, the stalk and the flower appears in August. She also said many of the older homes have them in abundance so they must have been planted years ago.

Finding a plant I have never seen is always fun. They could be very common but often overlooked or not spectacular but new to my eye. What is this plant?

Thank goodness for phone camera's. Web search to the rescue....

    This plant belongs to the Amaryllidacae family. 
    It is planted in the fall with the tulips and other spring bulbs. Leaves appear in the spring, die off, and the flower does not bloom until August.
    It is cold hardy and naturalizes by bulb offsets.
It is an heirloom bulb from 1882 and probably brought        from China.

It is often called resurrection lily,naked lady, spider lilly,
autumn amaryllis, and magic lily. 

There are 13 to 20 species in this family.  

They are a great companions to perennial foliage plants that have already bloomed.

Readings of interest:

My name is  Lycoris squamigera   If anyone has this plant share a photo on our facebook page. Did you purchase it or was it in the garden when you purchased your home?                  


  1. Feel free to share:

  2. Thanks Ray at Franklin County Master Gardeners. Great blog on the Lycoris Squamigera.