UACES Facebook Spider Lily (Surprise)

Spider Lily (Surprise)

(July 2012)

QuestionCan you please identify this plant?


AnswerThe plant in question is commonly called a spider lily — Hymenocallis

(February 2010)

QuestionCould you let me know the best time to transplant naked lady bulbs?


AnswerNaked ladies is the common name for Lycoris squamigera.  They form the pink, trumpet shaped blossoms in mid to late summer.  The other Lycoris commonly grown in Arkansas is L. radiata with the red spider like blooms, commonly called surprise lily or spider lily.  It blooms in late summer to early fall.  The naked lady foliage usually appears in the spring grows for a couple of months then dies back waiting for the naked stem with pink blooms in the summer.  They can be transplanted either when the foliage is up or as the flowers fade in the summer.  They may not bloom for a year or two after transplanting, but should rebound after that.

(Jan. 2010)

QuestionWe live on a farm in Saline County and have many old surprise lilies and daffodils that we would love to transplant.  When is the proper time? All of them are in the fields and somewhat hard to find after blooming.  We are wondering if the lilies could be moved now?  If so, when would we replant?


AnswerThere are two types of surprise lilies or Lycoris that we commonly grow in Arkansas.  The red more spider-like lilies are L. radiata and they have foliage all winter.  The naked lady or pink surprise lilies L. squamigera put on foliage in the spring and then die down before blooming.  Lycoris lilies can be moved either while the foliage is up or when the flowers begin to fade. I would not attempt moving them while it is so cold, but as the foliage begins to die in late winter to early spring, you could do it then.   Replant immediately at the same depth they are currently growing. They may not bloom for a year or two after transplant, but should recover.  As to the daffodils, let them bloom and then dig and divide.  You can do so immediately after bloom and let the foliage die back where replanted, or allow six to eight weeks of green growth after bloom then dig and divide and either replant or store for a fall planting.  They need at least six weeks of good growth after bloom to replenish a flower for next spring.

(August 2006)

QuestionCould you please identify this plant for me?  My aunt had one for years and it grew in an old ditch bank. We would love to get some more plants, but have no idea what to ask for.


AnswerI get a lot of questions about this plant.  The plant is a Hymenocallis occidentalis--commonly called spider lily. This plant is native in our state and can be seen growing in ditch banks and moist areas, especially in the southern part of the state. The sword-like gray-green foliage emerges in late spring and may die down in later summer in dry weather. The flowers appear in late summer or autumn. The 6 to 8 brilliant white blooms are up to 7 inches across.  They prefer moist areas in partial shade. Another name for it is Hymenocallis caroliniana.


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