Plant of the Week - August 4th 2018

Well, it is one of my favorite times of the gardening season.  A time where I can drive down the street and yell out the car window, “Look at those Naked Ladies!”  …and have a legitimate reason to be yelling that!   Yes, the Lycoris squamigera, or commonly known as Resurrection Lily, Surprise Lily, Magic Lily, and my favorite common name, Naked Ladies, have begun their wonderful show in many gardens around the area!  These bulbous plants belong to the amaryllis family and are native to southern Japan. The five to seven pink four inch long trumpets are produced atop the pale, naked three foot tall stems, thus the name Naked Lady.  The foliage comes up in early spring and looks like a large-leafed clump of daffodils, but without flowers. There will be one bloom for about every 10 leaves produced by the clump. The leaves die away late spring.  This growth pattern is an adaptation of the species to survive in an area with moist springs and prolonged periods of summer drought.  Then they seem to suddenly appear in late July / early August, thus the reference to Surprise Lily and the other common names…definitely not as exciting.  They’re fairly easy to grow in any average garden soil; full sun or partial shade. They are sold in both the spring and the fall in garden centers; mostly fall. If plants are to be divided from a friend’s garden, dig the bulbs either after the foliage begins to fade, or after the blooms fade.  Hey, there’s a Naked Lady!  Don’t look Ethel!  NOTE:  Want to learn more about where plants get their names?  Read the book ‘Of Naked Ladies and Forget-Me-Nots’ by Allan Armitage.  A great, fun, interesting read. (www.allanarmitage.net)

Ron Wilson

Ron Wilson

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