Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Surprise Lilies

We double crop the area adjacent to our deck with perennial Surprise Lilies coming up from their bulbs in early spring and making a vigorous growth of long, narrow leaves. By the time to plant tomatoes, they have started to die back and we trim them off. Nothing is seen of them while the tomatoes make their growth up against the deck railing. Then, here comes August and the lilies pop up to a height of nearly 2-feet in 3-4 days and produce these beautiful flowers within a week of their emergance. We hadn't seen any of these until moving back to Nebraska. My Mother had them and she always refered to them as "Naked Ladies". That does appear to be one of their common names along with "Magic Lilies" and Surprise Lilies. We frequently cut into some of their bulbs in the process of planting our tomatoes but it only seems to invigorate them. They belong to the Amarylis family and are native to southern Japan. They first appeared in American flower gardens in the late 1880's.

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