P&PDL Picture of the Week for
January 2, 2006

What is it?

Mike Dana, Extension Landscape Horticulture Specialist, Purdue University

No this isn’t a daylily, in fact its not even, really, a lily.

It's part of the Amaryllis plant family, and it classified in the genus Lycoris. Specifically, this flower is on the plant Lycoris squamigera. You may know it as magic lily or naked lily.

L. squamigera blooms in late summer when the naked scapes (flowering stalks) arise from the underground bulb without any leaves in sight. The plant’s leaves develop in spring, along with the daffodils, but fade by mid summer.

A good horticultural attribute of L. squamigera is its lack of successful seed development. The plant is a sterile triploid inter-specific hybrid, thought to have resulted from a cross of the species L. straminea and L. incarnata. Thus, although a native of the Orient, it is not much of threat to become an aggressive, invasive species in North America. It is propagated by division of the bulbs.

Click image to enlarge

lycoris

Purdue Plant & Pest Diagnostic Lab Purdue Cooperative Extension Service