Monday, September 19, 2011

Red Spider Lilies, an Autumn Ritual

Lycoris radiata blooms around the time of the Autumnal Exquinox, signaling the end of a natural growing cycle. Many legends exist in other cultures about the flowers and their meaning. I just think of it as one of the last blossoms of the summer season. Since we have camellia blossoms all through the winter, there is no 'death and renewal' connotation in my garden.

Spider lilies frequently appear following heavy rains from
a hurricane. We did get some rain before they bloomed.

When the flowers fade, green leaves appear that last all winter,
making a pleasant edging along the beds.
There are some spring bulbs planted in this bed as well.

A spot of sunlight makes these look faded.

This Spider Lily came up with a wild poinsettia.
I am thinking I need to pinch the flowers of the poinsettia
and see if it puts on another cluster of flowers and the bracts
turn red as the days shorten.

I don't want this wild thing to go to seed and
plant itself all over next summer.
This one just showed up.

We'll have fragrance most of the winter as well
from the tiny lemony-sweet blooms of Tea Olive.
The walk to the mailbox is very pleasant since
 Osmanthus fragrans started bloom.
These are the best blooms I've seen on this plant, ever.


Secrets of a Seedscatterer        


  1. It's curious what plants thrive in adverse conditions like drought. I have noticed some things here doing better than usual.

    My lilies are the pale pink ones. I like your color much better.

  2. Your Lycoris radiata blooms are stunning!

    My colchicums are one of the last blooms, besides the asters and I loving them.

    I've just sent out my gardening e-newsletter with your wonderful quote, "What Kind of Gardener Are You?" and would love to send you that issue. Here's my email -

    I look forward to hearing from you.

  3. Camellias year round! At times like these I really notice the differences between north and south gardens. I'm beginning to prepare the garden for complete shutdown in the next month as the cold weather closes in.

  4. Camellias are evergreen year 'round but they bloom only in cool weather. C. susanqua will bloom by Thanksgiving. C. japonicas start after Christmas and bloom during warm spells above freezing. A killing frost will turn the open blooms brown. Held on by just a small circle of cells, the dead blossoms fall right off. Tight buds are not harmed, to bloom when nights are not freezing again. The latest bloom around Easter and then warm weather blasts the buds. Most of the Camellias here have little green buds now, anticipating.

  5. Your spider lilies are gorgeous. I once moved to a house where there were spider lilies planted - unknown to me until they bloomed. What a wonderful surprise they were!

  6. My oh my, Nell Jean, you have a nice passel 'o spider lilies! They are such a wonderful color and the flower form is exquisite, but for incomparable scent, give me that sweet olive! Ours are blooming now, the Osmanthus, nothing is as sweet.

  7. I love the red spider lilies. I hope we are back in GA in time to collect some to press for collage. They make a stunning collage addition.

  8. I don't think we ever planted them where we cleared the land and built our houses, but every year, they surprise us with their sudden appearance.

  9. They are so beautiful and the flower stems emerged way ahead before the leaves. I have lots of Hipeastrum puniceum, almost like that color, do you think that Licorice radiata will tolerate temperatures of 30-33degrees Celsius?

  10. My Lycoris are blooming too. The neighbor gave me some yellow ones which I hope bloom next year...


I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.

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