Thursday, August 14, 2008

Surprise Lily Surprises.

Lycoris squamigera, the August lily or surprise lily, has an extra little surprise it springs each year. There is a pretty good sized clump right by the main pathway in our garden. Every year, when it first starts putting up its flower stalks, for some reason it only puts up two or three stalks at first, so you think the clump must be dying out. Then in a few days, a couple of dozen other stalks all come up at once. I guess it likes to send out scouts to check things out; I must confess I've considered chopping off these first few flower stalks just to see what the rest of them would do.
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Comments:
You can play a wonderful garden trick with surprise lilies. If you plant them right next to a hosta. The surprise lily foliage will die back before the hosta gets too far along. Then this time of year you will have the most amazing hosta blooms on the block.
 
That would surely be an interesting exercise, but it would be awfully hard to remove such striking blooms! A lovely surprise!
 
I'd be happy if mine sent up 1 bloom stalk.
 
I think 2007's April snow/freeze got mine. It didn't bloom last year and (so far at least) no blooms this year. That makes me sad.
 
Philip... I'll have to try that. Just need to avoid yellow hostas.

Nancy... you're right; it would be interesting indeed.
MMD & Sally... you know, I don't know why they are so touchy about blooming for folks. I just thew a single bulb in a hole and now have maybe two dozen blooming stalks.

Don
 
You are too funny! Perhaps surprise lilies are like Adelie Penguins, who push one fellow in the ocean first to see if there's a leopard seal about. If nothing happens, the rest dive in! ;-)
 
Shady... that's what I want to find out.
Don
 
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