The Q&A Archives: Spider Plant Identification

Question: My neighbor dug up some plants today, and insisted that they were spider plants. Is there such thing as a perennial spider plant. Also, these "spider plants" had tubrous clusters that look like lilies to me. I said that they are lilies. They did not have the variegation that I have seen in spider plants. What do you think?

Answer: Hmm, it's tough to identify plants without seeing them, but I wonder if what your neighbor has is a Spider Lily (Lycoris). It is a bulb plant and it has narrow, strap shaped leaves similar to the typical houseplant. It does flower in late summer/fall with a flower head that has very thin petals that curve upwards. Just to make things more interesting, there is a variety of spider plant (houseplant) that has plain green leaves without variegation! Perhaps you could look up Lycoris in a reference book at your local library, or find a photo of it online and compare it to your neighbor's plant. Good luck!

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