Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Surprise Lilies

Every year I forget about the surprise lilies, and every year up they pop and add a touch of unexpected grace to the jungle that is my garden by this point in the summer. Also known as naked ladies and spider lilies, they belong to the genus Lycoris; the most common version in our part of the country is Lycoris squamigera, which bears pink flowers.

They do have leaves: their strap-like foliage comes up in the spring, but it eventually withers and dies completely back, so that you forget that the plant was ever there.

Weeks later, usually around the beginning of August in southern Minnesota, the tall flower shoots emerge seemingly from nowhere. This year we even mowed the end of the bed where they are, so their leafless appearance is even more startling.

I took these photos on Saturday; all of the shoots seen above are now in full bloom. You can learn more about surprise lilies here.


Jim H. said...

My favorite kind of flowers. Not necessarily because they're pretty (and they are), but because they care for themselves -- no watering, weeding, pruning, fawning over, fencing, edging, fertilizing, etc. A reward for doing nothing! What's not to like?

Penelope said...

The more you forget 'em, the prettier they are!

dAwN said...

Howdee, Catching up on your blog...
Just put you on my blogroll, dont know why I hadnt added it before now..
I like that you are involved with local and sustainable foods! I see in your sidebar the local foods you have been eating..nice feature..
so when we meet maybe you can steer me in the right direction to pick up some nice local foods.

Your garden looks lovely..both flowers and veggies!

I just left my parents with a bounty of veggies from their garden.I try to cook with local foods when i travel.
of course when i buy it, its local.
then i travel and its not..LOL

See you Saturday! Looking forward to meetin you!

Penelope said...

Hi Dawn - thanks for your note and for adding me to your blogroll. I hope it won't be too hot on Saturday. I do look forward to meeting you and some of the other birders!

RuthieJ said...

Hi Penny,
It was really great to meet you and Dave yesterday. I'm adding you to my blog roll too.
I'm glad you did this post about the lilies--as I was driving out from Richardson Nature Center yesterday, I noticed a yard with lilies just like this is a huge clump--very pretty, just growing up out of the grass.

Penelope said...

Hi Ruthie - What a great day, and it was so nice to meet you. I have added Nature Knitter to my blogroll, too, and I look forward to following it. Nice to know my post on surprise lilies was timely!