Photo by Missouri Botanical Garden
Now You See It, Now You Don't
Summer beats up my garden and the show takes a long intermission. But wait, what’s that shiny, leafless green stem with a bud on top the shape of a flame? In four or five days it’s three feet tall, the bud opens, and up to 7 pink lily flowers open, united at their bases and pointing their faces to the corners of the garden. For two weeks, they are the show. Here in Des Moines, I see them in the yards and neglected spaces of old neighborhoods but not in the suburbs. People, grow this bulb!
The common names for this plant range from reverent to bawdy, but all point to how it grows. The leaves emerge in early spring, looking like daffodils on steroids--wide and long with a rounded tip, arching to make a green fountain. By early summer, all the leaves slump to the ground and wither. Soon there’s no sign of the plant. A good neighbor to cover the bare spot is hardy geranium. Then, surprise (hence the name Surprise Lily), the flower stalk rises, bearing no leaves (hence the name Naked Ladies), and blooms (hence the names Resurrection Lily and Magic Lily).
You start with a single bulb the size of an onion and the shape of a garlic clove. Plant it 6 inches deep and nose up (or sideways if you don’t see a nose). One bulb soon becomes many. It makes offsets (baby bulbs). In one spot where I planted a bulb seven years ago, ten flower stalks appeared this year (each from its own bulb). My plants also wander. Maybe beetles haul the seeds here and there? There are now six clumps in the garden.
Copyright © 2012 YourGardenShow.com
Plant Photo Tagging allows you to turn any garden photo into a rich tapestry of what you have planted. It’s fun, informative, and helpful to others visiting your garden. As you photo tag, you can easily add plant names from our database and/or make notes about anything you’d like. To get started, sign-in and go to your Garden.
Click on any image in your garden's slideshow Carousel to get to full-view mode. Click on the “Tag” icon just below your photo and you are ready to tag! Simply click and drag your mouse over a plant or area you’d like to highlight or tag. A pop-up box will appear and ask for either a plant name or a note - add one or both, then click “tag” and you’ve just tagged your garden!
Write and tell us your suggestion for a "How it Works" video:
For more info contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Plant of the Day archive