Surprise?

So what do you suppose this is? I've been posting about mushrooms lately, so is it a mushroom? That would be a good guess, but wrong.


It's a lily. A "Surprise Lily" as we call them around here.


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Also know as "Magic Lily", "Resurrection Lily", or "Naked Lady" -- so you can see why the latin botanical names can be so important. In this case it's Lycoris squamigera.


What makes all of these names so appropriate is the plant's foliage emerges early in the garden -- it's among the first plants to emerge in the spring -- but then goes dormant and disappears sometime in late June. It's hard to say exactly when it happens, because you don't notice it.


So you forget about the plants, until late July rolls around and all of a sudden the flower stalks shoot out of the ground, growing fast! These first three photos represent a single day's growth -- those three flower stalks were not visible above ground at all the day before!


The flowers then start to open, and with several blooms per stalk you get a wonderful display of pink sweeping petals, with no surrounding foliage -- just naked stalks and blooms.


They'll last for a week or two, and then they're gone for the year, but they're beautiful! They're also very easy to grow, will multiply, and deer and rabbits won't eat them.


I got mine from my mother-in-law's garden six years ago or so, stuck them way in the back of the yard and haven't done a thing to them since -- pretty much forgot about them.

I certainly can't miss thinking about them when they're in bloom though. Just a wonderful plant!

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