Ask a Question forum: Can I x breed surprise lilies with other lilies? Should I plant them in fall?

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Name: Ian McBeth
Lincoln NE (Zone 5b)
Horticulture, Photography, & Art
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis Irises Daylilies Lilies
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SonoveShakespeare
Apr 24, 2018 6:47 PM CST
I am buying some surprise lilies soon and I am going to plant their bulbs this fall. They are summer bloomers, so should I plant them in the fall? (I know most bulbs are planted in the fall) They also look like lilies, but they are a type of amaryllis. So I was wondering if I could x breed them with other lilies? And are surprise lilies in the same family as lilies?

I am just very curious, thanks,
- Ian

Here's a picture of the ones I will be getting.

Thumb of 2018-04-25/SonoveShakespeare/93e222

Not only people give others signs, but plants do too.
Name: Joshua
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Zone 10b)
Köppen Climate Zone Cfb
Region: Australia Bookworm Cat Lover Lilies Orchids Irises
Seed Starter Annuals Container Gardener Garden Photography Forum moderator Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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Australis
Apr 24, 2018 7:03 PM CST

Moderator

Hi Ian,

Your photo looks like Surprise Lily (Lycoris squamigera).

Lycoris, Nerines, Amaryllis, Hippeastrum and a number of other genera are all part of the Amaryllidaceae family. However, I am unaware of successful intergeneric crosses.

Lycoris squamigera itself is thought to be a sterile triploid and probably won't breed (it is probably some freak natural hybrid, like the triploid form of Lilium lancifolium, that propagates vegetatively quite well). You may be able to get other Lycoris species and cross them, however (there are some known hybrids).

If you like the Lycoris you can also try Nerines. They are similar but flower a little after the Lycoris. Once again, crosses between some Nerine species should be possible.
Plant Authorities: Catalogue of Life (Species) --- International Cultivar Registration Authorities (Cultivars) --- RHS Orchid Register --- RHS Lilium Register
My Notes: Orchid Genera HTML PDF Excel --- Lilium Traits HTML PDF --- Lilium Species Crosses HTML PDF Excel --- Lilium Species Diagram
The current profile image is that of Iris 'Volcanic Glow'.
Name: Ian McBeth
Lincoln NE (Zone 5b)
Horticulture, Photography, & Art
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis Irises Daylilies Lilies
Image
SonoveShakespeare
Apr 25, 2018 8:36 AM CST
Thanks Joshua for your response. I know surprise lilies look like the lily flower, and their name sounds like it is one. So I was a little confused whether or not if it was a lily. I never knew that surprise lilies were a sterile triploid like Lilium lancifoliums (also known as tiger lilies). But I have another question, since they are both sterile triploids, would I be able to x breed them with other Lycoris species? ( for example: surprise lilies) Or would the tiger lilies spread diseases during the x breeding process?

Thanks,
- Ian
Not only people give others signs, but plants do too.
Name: Joshua
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Zone 10b)
Köppen Climate Zone Cfb
Region: Australia Bookworm Cat Lover Lilies Orchids Irises
Seed Starter Annuals Container Gardener Garden Photography Forum moderator Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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Australis
Apr 25, 2018 4:57 PM CST

Moderator

Unfortunately many different genera have the common name of "Lily". The Lilium genus are the true lilies and it is part of the Liliaceae family (other members you might have heard of include Tulips, Erythroniums and Fritillaries).

You won't be able to breed your surprise lilies with true lilies (they are not only different genera, but completely different families). Sometimes you can cross between genera (called intergeneric crosses) in the same family, though.

The triploid Lilium lancifolium isn't actually completely sterile and will set seed under the right conditions. With Liliums (and I suspect other genera as well), triploids are more likely to produce seed when used as the pod parent rather than the pollen parent. Lilium viruses also don't generally transfer through the seeds, so if you were to try crossing another Asiatic Lilium onto lancifolium, the seed it produces should be virus-free.

If you're really keen to try to get seed from Lycoris squamigera, then I encourage you to do some research into the species and get some other surprise lilies (all Lycoris have the common name of Surprise Lilies, not just Lycoris squamigera) that you can use as pollen parents.
Plant Authorities: Catalogue of Life (Species) --- International Cultivar Registration Authorities (Cultivars) --- RHS Orchid Register --- RHS Lilium Register
My Notes: Orchid Genera HTML PDF Excel --- Lilium Traits HTML PDF --- Lilium Species Crosses HTML PDF Excel --- Lilium Species Diagram
The current profile image is that of Iris 'Volcanic Glow'.
Name: Ian McBeth
Lincoln NE (Zone 5b)
Horticulture, Photography, & Art
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis Irises Daylilies Lilies
Image
SonoveShakespeare
Apr 27, 2018 6:52 AM CST
I'll do some more research on the lycoris species. I have seen orange surprise lilies though, and they do look pretty. So I might get both surprise lilies.
Not only people give others signs, but plants do too.
Name: Joshua
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Zone 10b)
Köppen Climate Zone Cfb
Region: Australia Bookworm Cat Lover Lilies Orchids Irises
Seed Starter Annuals Container Gardener Garden Photography Forum moderator Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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Australis
Apr 27, 2018 6:57 AM CST

Moderator

Golden Spider Lily (Lycoris aurea) is a yellow-orange species and quite nice (I grow it and a couple of other Lycoris species). Haven't seen Red Spider Lily (Lycoris radiata) or White Spider Lily (Lycoris x albiflora) bloom yet - hopefully next year.

I note a few natural hybrids of radiata, so that might be a good one to get to use as a parent.
Plant Authorities: Catalogue of Life (Species) --- International Cultivar Registration Authorities (Cultivars) --- RHS Orchid Register --- RHS Lilium Register
My Notes: Orchid Genera HTML PDF Excel --- Lilium Traits HTML PDF --- Lilium Species Crosses HTML PDF Excel --- Lilium Species Diagram
The current profile image is that of Iris 'Volcanic Glow'.
[Last edited by Australis - Apr 27, 2018 6:57 AM (+)]
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Name: Ian McBeth
Lincoln NE (Zone 5b)
Horticulture, Photography, & Art
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis Irises Daylilies Lilies
Image
SonoveShakespeare
Apr 27, 2018 11:12 AM CST
I just looked up some images on google on radiata that were red, and I noticed that some were growing wild in some forests. Are radiatas wild? To me, they look kind of like some strange orchid, (the way the flowers look and how the pollen sticks curl). They look very interesting. What websites can I order Lycoris, surprise lilies, or radiata from? Or can I go into a store and buy their bulbs? (like a plant store)

Thanks,
- Ian
Not only people give others signs, but plants do too.
Name: Joshua
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Zone 10b)
Köppen Climate Zone Cfb
Region: Australia Bookworm Cat Lover Lilies Orchids Irises
Seed Starter Annuals Container Gardener Garden Photography Forum moderator Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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Australis
Apr 27, 2018 5:57 PM CST

Moderator

Lycoris radiata is indeed a wild species. The vast vast majority of species (as opposed to cultivars and hybrids) are wild; whilst I cannot think of any, I'm sure there's probably a few plant species that now only exist in cultivation and are extinct in the wild.

My understanding is that radiata and some of the other Lycoris species are reasonably popular over there in the US, so you should be able to find a source for them (I'm afraid I cannot advise where, as I only have experience with Australian suppliers!).

I know that @MarmorealArbor (in this thread - The thread "I've got bulbs and I've got questions" in Bulbs forum) had heaps of Lycoris radiata (Red Spider Lily) that they wanted to get rid of. You can try contacting them and maybe come to an arrangement?
Plant Authorities: Catalogue of Life (Species) --- International Cultivar Registration Authorities (Cultivars) --- RHS Orchid Register --- RHS Lilium Register
My Notes: Orchid Genera HTML PDF Excel --- Lilium Traits HTML PDF --- Lilium Species Crosses HTML PDF Excel --- Lilium Species Diagram
The current profile image is that of Iris 'Volcanic Glow'.
Name: Ian McBeth
Lincoln NE (Zone 5b)
Horticulture, Photography, & Art
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis Irises Daylilies Lilies
Image
SonoveShakespeare
Apr 30, 2018 7:03 AM CST
Thanks again Josh! I will try to make some arrangements to get the "Red Spider Lily" in the bulbs forum. Since lycoris and radiata are bulbs when is the best time to plant them? (does fall work?) I know that Surprise Lily (Lycoris squamigera) grows foliage in the spring. Then the foliage dies out in the summer and tall scapes appear with the pink blooms. And when I x breed different lycoris/radiata will it make a bulb will it create a bulb or will I have to plant the seeds to create the bulbs?

- Ian
Not only people give others signs, but plants do too.
Name: Joshua
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Zone 10b)
Köppen Climate Zone Cfb
Region: Australia Bookworm Cat Lover Lilies Orchids Irises
Seed Starter Annuals Container Gardener Garden Photography Forum moderator Avid Green Pages Reviewer
Image
Australis
Apr 30, 2018 7:39 PM CST

Moderator

My experience has been to just plant the Lycoris when you receive it. Keep the neck of the bulb just above the soil line to avoid the bulb rotting.

When you cross different Lycoris plants, you should end up with seeds (if the cross was successful). These should be started as soon as possible to maximise the chances of germination. There is a very useful guide to Lycoris here:
https://www.pacificbulbsociety...

There is a link on that page as well to "Lycoris hybrids" that shows you some photos of what others have been able to accomplish with their garden hybridising.
Plant Authorities: Catalogue of Life (Species) --- International Cultivar Registration Authorities (Cultivars) --- RHS Orchid Register --- RHS Lilium Register
My Notes: Orchid Genera HTML PDF Excel --- Lilium Traits HTML PDF --- Lilium Species Crosses HTML PDF Excel --- Lilium Species Diagram
The current profile image is that of Iris 'Volcanic Glow'.

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