Field of Science

Naked ladies at a wedding

Now that's a click bait title, so don't be disappointed that this is just a Friday Fabulous Flower.  Wednesday it began with a trickle, yesterday was a steady stream, and today it will be a raging torrent of friends and mostly relatives pouring into town, into our gardens, and into our refrigerator. Things are getting pretty hectic, but at least now the Phactors know that 250 chairs will fit in our side yard, an area that was a tennis court some 80 years ago. Flowers for bouquets will be harvested from the many things blooming in our gardens, but there is always some concern about having enough. Well, the dozens of clumps of "naked ladies", one of the many common names of Amaryllis belladonna, an epithet that means pretty lady. Where TPP grew up they were called "magic lilies" because their lush leaves popup in early spring and die back in early summer leaving no trace, then in August the flowering stalks emerge, sans leaves, thus the "naked", and are soon topped by a whorl of pink flowers. This is a pattern of growth associated with wet-dry climates and with temperate deciduous forests; grow leaves when conditions for that are best, and then flower using stored food and water when pollination conditions are best. They make good cut flowers lasting for several days in a vase. So naked ladies to the rescue; flowers aplenty. The biggest problem is remembering where the many clumps of bulbs are hidden below ground. Each year the Phactors discuss counting them, or mapping them, but it won't happen again this year either. Now to post this and get started on a to do list. 

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