Surprise….it’s surprise lily time!

Many gardeners don’t look forward to summer, but we’ve found a cure…plant lycoris! Known as surprise lilies and hurricane lilies, the lycoris bloom season starts in mid-July and continues into mid-September with a procession of different varieties.  Winter hardiness of lycoris ranges from Zone 4 to Zone 7, depending on when the foliage emerges. We currently grow nearly 600 different varieties of lycoris, the diversity of which is truly astonishing. Because we are the only source of most of these, once they are sold out, we may not have enough to offer again for 5-10 years, so if you see something you like, it’s best not to wait.  You can plant lycoris anytime the ground isn’t frozen.    

Lycoris x squamigera is an old hybrid, grown throughout the midwest, often mistakenly purchased as the tender Amaryllis belladonna.

Lycoris ‘Caldwell’s White’ is a surprise lily we recently released from the late, famed lycoris breeder, Sam Caldwell. We can’t say enough great things about this selection.

Lycoris ‘Pink Panther’ is another selection we named, after we purchased Sam Caldwell’s collection. This is a cross of Lycoris sprengeri and Lycoris radiata, and is in flower now for us.  We hope this bring joy to your garden during the summer months!

4 thoughts on “Surprise….it’s surprise lily time!”

  1. When I was a student at William and Mary (a long time ago with the founding fathers), I remember a red variety in a garden across from Bruton Parish Church. The spider – like blooms emerged from a ground cover (periwinkle, I think) and presented a wonderful show with their exotic appearance.

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