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"Possibility and promise greet me each day as I walk out into my garden. My vigor is renewed when I breathe in the earthiness and feel the dirt between my fingers. My garden is a peaceful spot to refresh my soul." Meems

Welcome to my Central Florida Garden Blog where we garden combining Florida natives, Florida-Friendly plants, and tropicals.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Hurricane Lily

The first time I ever saw a Hurricane Lily or Red Spider Lily, Lycoris radiata, was a couple of years ago while on a weekend stay in Wakulla Springs, FL.

Their uniqueness caught my attention right away and I wondered why I had never seen any in Central Florida.

A slender stalk of 5-7 separate flowers bunching together making one stunning lily with long arching anthers so wispy and graceful as if painted on out into the thin air.

The next spring (2008) when Florida's very own Jack (John S.) Scheper, creator and publisher of the wonderful website, Floridata, offered bulbs dug out of his own garden for sale I jumped at the chance to order some.

They were immediately placed along the curving front border... tightly hugging behind the variegated liriope edging but not disturbing the caladium bulbs a little further back. The ideal plan was for them to start blooming just about the time the caladiums would begin to fade each year in early September.

Last year, being their first year at Hoe and Shovel I was thrilled to see the beginnings of the stalks and buds shoot up out of the ground right on time in September (08). Being they belong to the family Amaryllidaceae (amaryllis Family) the Eastern Lubber grasshoppers happen to make all foliage in that family their first choice for destruction. They were tenacious in chewing their tender stalks in two before one single flower had a chance to bloom.

This year two blooms made it to maturity. So many buds have started their journey upward with very good intentions of splashing out their wondrous colors in the late summer garden. Unfortunately the evil grasshoppers are finding them faster than their little buds can burst.

Such is life in the garden. So many victories. Fewer disappointments. But I have to say this is a dilemma I have no answers for.

So I shall rejoice in the two beauties that brought me great joy with their spectacular vibrance. There's always next year...


  1. oh very cool i happen to be on when you were posting. i love this sorta reminds me of the cleome we have. also known as the spider flower. glad all the evildoers(g/h's) didn't get all of them.
    hope you are having a fun get away.
    love and hugs in september, sis.

  2. I love it, Meems. When I first read the title, I thought that a Horricane named Lily was headed toward you. Glad that hasn't happened!!!!!

    I do love the Hurricane Lily though.

  3. If each year the number of buds double, you'll be set in a couple more years!

  4. Their colour and form are spectacular! Very nice. (Like Betsy, I thought when I first read your title that Hurricane Lily was going to pay a visit! I was thinking, how in the world did we work our way up to the "L"s already?! Hee.)

  5. This is a beautiful lily. It is too bad it is so tasty to the grasshoppers. Too bad there isn't someone in your neighborhood that likes to eat grasshoppers. ??. ;)
    I don't know what to tell you about their control.

  6. Love that colour Meems and I have to put it on my must have list. Darn those grasshoppers!

  7. Well said, Memes. The flowers are gorgeous. I think I need some. :]

  8. Geez, I didn't have a single Amaryillis gloom this year and I haven't seen hide nor hair of my spider lilies......It may be a little early for the spider lilies quite yet, I'll have to pay attention around town. Thanks for the info on the grassphopper!!

  9. Marmee,
    That first one that bloomed was gnawed by a hopper at the base of the stem and only lasted for a day. The second one pictured here somehow survived their hungry tummies. It is annoying but even with vigilance hard to avoid. We are heading home today... fun times... thanks.

    I never even thought about the title referring to a real one... HA. Hope you enjoyed your labor day.

    I don't know... at this rate it will take a lot of years to see them all come up at once. I can only wish for the hoppers to be eradicated by some cosmic force of nature... they truly have no redeeming value. Thanks for the positive take on a few a year though... its better than none for sure.

    I'm so sorry... never meant to alarm anyone. It would be early to be in the 'L's' already.

    You should see all my Amaryllis leaves! I know to look for them there but the hurricane lilies are so tucked in with other plants it would take an all day (and night) vigil to catch the hoppers in their dirty deeds. Oh well... the two I have so far have brought me lots of smiles.

    Absolutely... you should be able to grow these. They have short strappy leaves during the winter and then those go away in summer and the flowers come up seemingly from nowhere... very cool.

    Oh, wouldn't they look good in your gorgeous garden!

    Do you have those type of hoppers? I don't think it is every kind of hopper that loves them - just the eastern lubber ... your spider lilies will probably be showing up any day... we might be a week or so ahead of you.

  10. I noticed yesterday that I had 1 lily coming up. I hope there will be more. I brought mine from Ala.
    Sure hope the hoppers don't get it/them.

  11. Oh, Lola, I DO hope you have better success than me. They are certainly a lovely addition to the garden wherever they're planted.

  12. I've seen them all over the neighborhood Meems, but, mine didn't bloom this year...They are the most wonderful red and their perfect little whiskers make me smile! gail

  13. These are beautiful, Meems! Those darned grasshoppers certainly can devastate a plant; glad two of these lovelies survived for you.

  14. This is such a stunning lily! I dont think I've seen it here either. I wonder why they thought of naming it 'hurricane' though?
    Hmmm... I think you need some mynahs in your garden to get rid of the grasshoppers!

  15. What beautiful lilies Meems - so sorry the grasshoppers are eating them.

    I haven't watched any news for a couple of weeks, and was thinking the same thing as a few of your other visitors about a hurricane named Lily. I'm glad I was wrong, and enjoyed the play on words.

  16. Gail,
    I guess I didn't realize they would grow in your zone 7. It's true... flowers of all kinds are smile encouragers.

    Thank you ... Instead of a smattering of lilies there should be a wave of them... the grasshoppers are fat and happy in that part of the yard. :-)

    One would think there would be a bird or black snake even (we have lots of those) that could reverse this grasshopper cycle. They must not be looking at the right time. Hurricane lily??? it's hard to know why the common name... except that they DO bloom right in the middle of hurricane season.

    Garden Girl,
    It was an unintentional play on words on my part. Perhaps not on the common name creator's part. You know how common names can get confusing ... regardless I am wishing for more success next year. :-)

  17. I was trying to find out if when you dig up the lily bulbs to separate them do you let them dry out before replanting them or do they need to go straight into the ground after they are dug up? I want to move mine to a different part of my garden but have never done this before. Appreciate any advice you can give me.
    Hollis from Central FL

  18. Dear Hollis,
    I've not ever split up my hurricane lilies. I would likely treat them the way I do any other bulb though. If when digging them up I broke the bulb to reveal the inside flesh there is always a risk of bacteria/disease finding the open wound in which case you might need to let them cure before transplanting. If the entire bulb is removed it shouldn't be a problem to transplant immediately. OR you can take the risk and replant even if you have broken into the bulb and see what happens. I hope that helps.

  19. Thanks for the info. I didn't know Jack Scheper started Floridata. Love the site. I really like L radiata too and was wanting to try it our new Bradenton, Fl garden.I grew up with them in my parent's yard in Atlanta. Years ago I saw a great planting of them with hostas in the same bed at the Missouri Bot. Garden. While the hostas were dormant, the Lycoris were leafed out. Then the lycoris would come through the hosta foliage to bloom.


Have a blessed day,

September 2010

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