The Q&A Archives: Red Spider Lily

Question: Please tell me the name and availability of what I believe is a Spider lily. I have seen then in the front yards of many of the antebellum homes in Natchez and in the yards of abandoned houses in Little Rock. They are not surprise lilies or naked ladies. The flowers do not look anything like amaryllis. They do not have leaves, but they are red and spidery looking. They spring up in the fall and are just now beginning to die down. They seem to multiply by the way they seem to group in old yards. Can I buy these bulbs? When can they be dug up and replanted?

Answer: I think you are describing Lycoris, perhaps Lycoris radiata, a unique bloom indeed! The flowers are at the top of the stems, with long filaments that arch beyond the petals giving the effect of spiders. Lycoris can be purchased from McClure and Zimmerman,

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