Naked lady flowers or naked lady lilies are a unique phenomenon in the late summer garden: stunning, lily-like, trumpet-shaped flowers fragrant flowers that appear on 20 inches long stalks directly from the ground, without leaves can hardly go unnoticed, especially if planted in groups! Let’s talk about different types of naked ladies flowers.
What is a Naked Lady Flower?
This gorgeous flower festival that springs from the bare earth has made these plants one of the most popular bulbous flowering plants worldwide. More than 10 million bulbs of naked lady flowers are sold annually in the USA only!
In addition to the name naked lady flower, naked lady, or naked lady lily, these plants are also known as surprise lilies, magic lilies, and resurrection lilies. The word lily in their names refers to the flower’s shape rather than the botanical classification since these plants do not belong to the genus Lilium.
What Plants are Naked Lady Flowers?
If we want to be botanically correct, we should say that the Naked lady flower is the name that several plant species from the family Amaryllidaceae share: Amarilis Belladonna, Amarilis Paradisciola, and Lycoris, widely known as spider lilies.
Their common characteristic is that leaves and flowers never appear together, making these beauties unique in the world of flowering plants.
Naked Lady Flower – Lycoris Squamigera or Spider Lily
Lycoris squamigera, also known as surprise lily, magic lily, or the resurrection lily, is a bulbous perennial that rests in the summer and blooms from the second half of September when most other plants complete their vegetative cycle.
Naked lady or surprise lily is native to Japan and China and tolerates the continental climate of the northern hemisphere with moderately warm summers and cold winters. It grows best in USA Climate Zone 5 to 10 and likes well-sunlit positions but can stand partial shade.
Spider lily is sensitive to excess soil moisture, so plant it on the well-drained ground or in pots in areas with plenty of rains in summer. Lycoris is a reliable and easy-to-care plant that can thrive in the same place for years.
Moreover, the bulbs multiply rapidly, forming colonies that will make an eye-catching sight in your garden when they bloom. After flowering, which lasts 12 to 15 days, the bulb grows linear or strap-shaped leaves forming clumps that will stay throughout the winter and last until mid-summer when the leaves dry out and disappear.
The nickname spider lily this plant got because of the unusual flowers of six elongated curled and unequally spaced petals and very long stamens. They grow in clusters of 6 to 10 flowers on leafless stems weeks after the foliage disappeared. The genus includes more than a dozen varieties in different colors, sizes, and leaves shapes. Below we list the most popular ones.
Types of Naked Ladies Flowers – Lycoris Species
Lycoris Albiflora (White Spider Lilies)
The bright white flowers of this plant give a striking contrast to the faded autumn landscape, which makes them easy to see from a great distance. On each petiole appear 6 to 8 flowers whose petals may have a narrow pink stripe that is more pronounced in the center and disappears completely towards the edges.
In the USA 5 to 7 climate zone, protect them with a layer of dry leaf mulch in winter as they can be sensitive to low temperatures and prolonged soil freezing.
Lycoris Aurea (Golden Spider Lilies)
With golden-yellow flowers appearing in clusters 8 inches in diameter, Lycoris is a precious hint of color in the autumn garden. However, it does not tolerate temperatures below 5 degrees Celsius, so it is better to dig it out of the ground in late autumn and place it in a greenhouse or unheated basement where it will not be in danger of frost.
Alternatively, you could grow Naked lady lily in larger pots and take them inside during the winter months.
This naked lady variety blooms a little earlier, from the end of August to the end of September, on stems that are 24 inches high. The leaves are strap-like, with a slightly lighter line along the central nerve.
Lycoris Radiata (Red Spider Lilies)
Red spider lily is one of the most sought-after species of this plant due to its showy blooms in coral red color and dark green leaves with traces of blue, which makes the plant attractive in every vegetative phase.
The plant grows from 20 to 28 inches in height and, with its lacy flowers, will surely attract the eyes of your neighbors and friends. It prefers positions with light shade, protected from direct sunlight in the hottest part of the day.
Lycoris Sprengery (Electric Blue Lycoris)
In the USA, it is winter hardy zones 6 to 10 and does not tolerate harsh winter temperatures or sudden temperature changes. Electric blue Lycoris is a slightly lower species, with stems reaching 14 to 16 inches. The flowers resemble lily flowers, with a trumpet shape, composed of 6 petals that do not have curved edges or pronounced long anthers as in other varieties. The flower’s color is pink in the center, with a hint of blue on the edges of the petals.
Q: What does Lycoris symbolize?
In Japan, the spider lily symbolizes death since its flowering signifies the end of a life cycle that fades with the arrival of autumn and winter.
However, spider lily symbolizes rebirth in a continuous process of reincarnation. Buddha’s followers often plant spider lilies in cemeteries as a sign of honor for the dead. Some old writings even mention that the spider lily grows in hell and leads the souls of the dead to a new reincarnation. Precisely because of its connection to death and cemeteries, the spider lily is not a plant you will see in flower arrangements or bouquets.
Q: Is Lycoris poisonous?
The bulb contains the alkaloid poison lycorine, which can cause indigestion if it enters the digestive tract. However, the leaves and flowers contain only a minor amount of this substance, so you are free to touch them since it will not cause a skin reaction. However, if you have pets that tend to chew or nibble on your plants, keep them away from Lycoris!
Q: Do blue spider lily exist?
Blue spider lily does not exist in nature or among cultivars and hybrids of this plant. This plant comes with white, red, pale pink, or bright pink flowers red. Blue color can appear only in traces on the petals as in Electric Blue spider lily. However, completely blue flowers, if found, are a horticultural trick that lasts only one season.
Q: Are spider plant and spider lily the same?
Spider plant is a common name for Chlorophytum comosum, an elegant, evergreen houseplant suitable for hanging baskets because of pendulous stems on which new plants appear.
Naked Lady Flower – Amaryllis Belladonna
Unlike Lycoris, Amaryllis belladonna comes from a completely different end of the world and completely different climatic conditions.
This gorgeous plant is native to South Africa, and therefore, it is far less resistant to low temperatures. It can overwinter in the ground only in UAS climate zone 7 or more since it tolerates only mild frosts.
If you live in a colder climate zone, it does not mean that you can not enjoy the beautiful fragrant flowers of this plant. However, in this case, it is safer to grow it in a pot that you will bring into the frost-free space immediately after flowering.
Naked Lady Lily – Amaryllis Belladonna Flower
Amarilis belladonna produces trumpet-shaped flowers that resemble lily flowers. Delicate pale pink, light pink, or white flowers with six evenly spaced petals form a funnel 2 inches in diameter. At the top of each stem 20 inches high, 6 to 8 flowers appear that remain open for 15 days.
Amaryllis Belladonna Common Names
In addition to its scientific name, this plant is also known as Jersey lily, march lily, august lily, belladonna lily, naked lady lily, or resurrection lily. In the southern hemisphere, naked ladies bloom in March (hence the name March lily), so this plant is often called the last kiss of summer. It blooms in the northern hemisphere in August and September after its leaves disappear in July.
Types of Naked Ladies Flowers – Amaryllis Belladona Varieties
Amaryllis Belladona Hathor
Amaryllis Belladonna Hathor is a variety of surprise lily or magic lily with white flowers with cream or yellow throat diameter 2 inches and 4 inches long. Each leafless stem grows about 28 inches, and 10 to 15 flowers open like an umbrella, creating a unique fragrant floral spectacle.
A Giant Belladonna Lily – Amarygia Parkeri
The spectacular hybrid was created by crossing amaryllis belladonna and Brunsvigia Josephine. It is one of the most sought-after and the rarest naked lady flowers hybrid.
The plant grows from a large bulb which you should leave one-third above the soil surface when planting. A solid thick flower stalk can grow 30 inches tall! Completely leafless stems carry between 12 and 20 individual white or rosy-pink flowers in August and September. Mature bulbs can produce even 25 to 30 flowers!
Unlike most other plants in this group, the flowers have only a slight odor or no odor at all. However, the lack of fragrance this plant compensates with a spectacular floral show every fall.
Naked Lady Flower – Amaryllis Paradiscola
Amaryllis Paradiscola is a relative of Amaryllis Belladonna but differs from it primarily by the appearance of its leaves. This species has broader tongued leaves covered with short hairs on both sides. Its flowers smell like daffodil flowers and have uniform light pink color when opened, but they darken over time. It makes the plant look even more beautiful because 10 to 20 flowers in different shades of pink appear on one flower stalk.
Q: Is Amaryllis the same as belladonna?
The scientific name of this plant is amaryllis belladonna. However, the same name Amaryllis is common for the plant Hippeastrum Robustum, which belongs to the same family but has a different origin and is grown as a flowering houseplant.
Q: Is belladonna poisunos?
Amaryllis belladonna bulbs contain several toxic substances which can cause problems if taken into the digestive tract. Therefore, they are dangerous for both humans and pets.
However, you can handle them without worries as they will not cause skin contact problems.
Q: What does belladonna symbolize?
This beautiful flower symbolizes pride, defiance, and determination because it appears at the very end of the vegetative cycle when most other plants wither and slowly disappear.
Q: Does amaryllis belladonna bloom every year?
Amaryllis belladonna will reliably bloom every year at the end of summer. The flowering phase lasts from 4 to 6 weeks, but the stems appear one after the other, not simultaneously. You will achieve the best results if you let the Amaryllis belladonna grow in one place without disturbing the bulbs. They are sensitive to transplanting and often do not bloom even a few years after transferring them to another location.
Q: Is Amaryllis the same as Hippeastrum?
No, but they belong to the same family and have many similarities. Nevertheless, Hippeastrum robustum is native to Central and South America, and it is mainly grown as a houseplant. Like amaryllis belladonna, it blooms in winter, but this plant is a perennial that does not lose leaves during the growing season. Besides, the flowers are not fragrant, much larger, and more than 5 of them rarely come on one stalk.
Q: Does Amaryllis multiply belladonna?
Amaryllis belladonna multiplies quickly, and in a few years, one bulb can make a small flower colony! Do not divide the new bulbs until they reach full maturity! It usually takes two or three years. Only then can you separate them from the mother bulbs and plant naked ladies as independent plants.
Q: Is Easter lily the same as belladonna?
Naked lady lilies, Amaryllis belladonna is sometimes incorrectly called Easter lily since Easter comes at the end of autumn in the southern hemisphere.
Yet, Easter lily is a much more common name for the plant Lilium Candidum or Madonna lily. It belongs to the Lilium family and blooms in the spring at Easter in the northern hemisphere exclusively with white flowers of intense scent. The plant produces dense clusters first and then gives flowers on high stems.
Learn more about different flower types, check out Lithuanian Flowers, Panamanian Flowers and Persian Flowers
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