Field of Science

Friday Fabulous Flower - Naked Ladies

In early August "naked ladies" pop up from their napping places and flower.  TPP grew up hearing them called "magic lilies" although they are neither magic nor lilies, although what with all the taxonomic rearrangements who knows where these former amaryllids now reside.  A good friend says that low class people call them "naked ladies" (Lycoris squamigera).  Naked ladies should increase the number of hits on my blog significantly, and TPP certainly does not recommend googling this phrase nor ogling the results.  The reason for such nicknames is because the vegetative and reproductive phases are separated in time.  Masses of leaves appear in the early spring, and then like other spring bulbs, the foliage dies back leaving no evidence of their presence.  Then 2-3 months later up spring leafless flowering stalks topped by an umbel of quite handsome large pink flowers.  Last year their flowering was scant, but this year they look fabulous.  This is without question one of the easiest and most reliable of naturalizing bulbs, and they flower after our hostas at a time when flowering has diminished a bit, so their color is quite welcome.  In fact interplanting them in hosta beds works really well.  Our gardens have 50 to 100 clusters of these bulbs so the display is quite lextensive, and some clumps always surprise us at where they appear (magic?).  Some of these clusters must be decades old and still flower prolifically. 

No comments: