The golden surprise lilies

Lycoris_chinensis1
Lycoris chinensis blooming this week

This week, Lycoris chinensis is blooming for the first time in the garden.  The golden flowers are very similar to those of L. aurea, and both species go by the common name of golden surprise lily.  Don’t mix them up, though, particularly if you live north of the gulf coast.  L. chinensis is one of the species that produce foliage in the spring, and it is reported to be hardy to at least zone 6.  Subtropical L. aurea is the most tender of all Lycoris species.  Its winter foliage will only tolerate a few degrees of frost, and although the bulbs can survive in the piedmont, loss of foliage in freezing temperatures will weaken the plant and prevent flowering.  Unfortunately, L. aurea is commonly available and often sold to unsuspecting customers in inappropriate climates, while L. chinensis can be difficult to obtain.

L_aurea
Lycoris aurea

 

2 thoughts on “The golden surprise lilies

  1. Actually, I remember seeing Lycoris aurea in mail order catalogues, although I do not remember what zones it was recommended for. A mail order catalogue would probably be more careful about that sort of thing.

    Liked by 1 person

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