SPIDER LILY, Surprise Lily

FAMILY: Amaryllidaceae | GENUS: LYCORIS

TYPE
  • Perennials
  • Bulbs
SUN EXPOSURE
  • Full Sun
WATER
  • Regular Water

Plant Details

Frequently spotted on old homesites and in cemeteries, most are native to China or Japan. Narrow, strap-shaped leaves appear in spring (or in fall, in mild-winter regions); they remain green until some point in summer, then die down completely. Leafless flower stalks emerge after the foliage disappears. In late summer or early fall, each stalk bears a cluster of blooms with narrow, pointed, petal-like segments andin some speciesprojecting, spidery-looking stamens. Blossoms may be funnel shaped or have segments splayed outward or reflexed.

golden spider lily, hurricane lily

lycoris aurea

  • Zones CS, TS; USDA 9-11; or indoor/outdoor potted plant.
  • Bright yellow blooms to 34 inches long.

yellow spider lily

lycoris chinensis

  • Zones MS, LS, CS; USDA 7-9.
  • From China and Korea.
  • To 2 feet tall, with flat-topped clusters of golden yellow, 3 inches blossoms.

white spider lily

lycoris xhaywardii

  • Zones MS, LS; USDA 7-8.
  • To 20 inches high.
  • Magenta-pink flowers resemble those of Lycoris squamigera, but petals are more deeply divided.
  • Easy to grow.

lycoris incarnata

  • Zones US, MS, LS, CS, TS; USDA 6-11.
  • To 20 inches high, with clusters of fragrant, 3 inches flowers that open white and then turn salmon to rose colored; each petal has a darker stripe running lengthwise down the center.

lycoris longituba

  • Zones MS, LS, CS; USDA 7-9.
  • To 2 feet tall, bearing pure white, long-tubed (at least 2 inches.) flowers.

spider lily, hurricane lily

lycoris radiata

  • Zones MS, LS, CS; USDA 7-9.
  • The best-known spider lily, and the easiest to grow.
  • Coral-red, 3- to 4 inches flowers with a golden sheen are borne on 1 feet stems.
  • Alba, known as white spider lily, has white blossoms.
  • Fire Engine has ruffled, red flowers on blackish stems.
  • Fireworks has double, red flowers.
  • Species and selections take light shade.
  • In the Upper South, protect with mulch in winter.

magic lily, surprise lily, naked lady

lycoris sanguinea

  • Zones US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9.
  • To 2 feet tall, with 2- to 2 inches., bright red to orange-red flowers.

lycoris sprengeri

  • Zones US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9.
  • Rose-pink flowers with striking blue tips.
  • Grows about 12 inches tall.

lycoris squamigera

  • Zones US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9.
  • Clusters of funnel-shaped, 3 inches., fragrant, pink or rosy lilac flowers on 2 feet stems.
  • Hardiest species, old favorite.

Plant in late summer, setting bulbs in well-drained soil about 1 feet apart. Keep tops of bulb necks at or just above soil surfaceexcept in coldest part of range, where tops of necks should be just under surface. Water regularly while plants are growing and again when flower stalks emerge. Disturb clumps (after bloom) only when you want to move them or divide them to increase a planting. Beyond hardiness range, grow spider lilies in containers, and overwinter them indoors.

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