Naked ladies


We call them "naked ladies" because they pop out of the ground unexpectedly with no clothes on - just a bright green stem with a bud at the top. But soon enough that bud opens up to reveal the "lady," a beautiful flower.

Technically, and correctly, called Amaryllis belladonna, they grow as wildflowers in South Africa and they prefer hot and dry conditions. I can provide the hot if not the dry, but last fall I planted several of these bulbs in one of the driest beds in my garden and recently a few of them have come up to remind me of the bulbs I had almost forgotten. Not all of them have emerged by any means, but I live in hope.

Later, by spring, the leaves should emerge around the base of the stem to provide nourishment to the bulb and, if all goes well, the ladies themselves will pop up again next fall.

The plants have other popular names such as surprise lilies and resurrection lilies, both for obvious reasons. Some even call them hurricane lilies because they do emerge at the height of the hurricane season. But, personally, I prefer the more salacious and descriptive name. It'll always be naked ladies for me!


Comments

  1. I'm also enjoying mine blooming this week. Although I remember my Aunt calling them naked ladies, I wonder if these are actually red spider lilies originating in Japan. :)

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    Replies
    1. Yes, spider lilies is another of their names and they do look a bit like spiders perched atop those stems, don't they?

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  2. Nice addition to your garden and lovely surprise to see them blooming after (almost) forgetting them. Love them! :-)

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    Replies
    1. They are a wonderful treat and I truly had almost forgotten about them. My garden never fails to surprise me!

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  3. Interesting to see, for this nothern gardener. The ones I'm familiar with, which may not be the same exact species, are pink, and we call them magic lilies.

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    Replies
    1. They do come in a range of colors, including yellow, white, pink, as well as red, so it's quite likely the ones you know are at least closely related.

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  4. I don't know how I missed this post but I did. I love the Naked Ladies! I have many in my yard and they put up the leaves in the spring here but only one puts up a bloom. I didn't plant the bulbs, I inherited them when I moved to this house. I think they might be old and that is my theory about why they don't bloom anymore.

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