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Native alternative(s) for Lycoris radiata:
Hymenocallis occidentalis var. occidentalis Form
Lilium philadelphicum Butterfly on flowers
Zephyranthes drummondii Naturalized
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Allium Alllium
Betonica officinalis 2 lipped purple red flowers
Canna Flower
Lycoris radiata has some common insect problems:
Narcissus Bulb Fly

Naked Lily Lycoris radiata

Other plants called Naked Lily:

Previously known as:

  • Amaryllis radiata
Phonetic Spelling
ly-KOR-iss ray-dee-AH-tuh
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

The red spider lily is a cultivated, late summer blooming perennial bulb in the amaryllis family (Amaryllidaceae). It is native to China, Japan, Korea and Nepal and is usually found in shady, moist areas along slopes and rocky areas near stream banks. The genus name Lycoris is in honor of the Roman actress and mistress of Mark Antony. The species epithet radiata is Latin for "spoke" referring to the flower tepals that spread out like the spokes on a wheel or the flowers that radiate from the umbel.

Plant the bulbs with the neck exposed, spaced 6 to 12 inches apart, in rich, moist well-drained soils. In the dormant season, it is best if the soil remains fairly dry. Situate the bulbs in full sun to partial shade. The best flowering will occur in partial shade. The bulbs naturalize easily through offsets and are quite long-lived. They range from semi-hardy (damaged below 28 degrees F) to hardy (injured below 5 degrees F). The flowers emerge on 1 to 2 feet tall scapes in late summer to early fall. These bulbs require an extensive root system to produce flowers; therefore, if container planting is being considered, be sure the pot size is adequate. Propagate through division.

In the landscape, it would be best to incorporate these bulbs in a mixed ground cover or flowerbed so that their starkness will not be so readily apparent. Plant it in mass along a walkway, in a courtyard garden, in front of a border or in other small spaces. It does well to naturalize or plant alongside a lawn. 

Quick ID Hints:

  • Flower appears on tall naked scapes from August to September as an umbel of 4 to 7 showy, bright red tubed blooms, recurved, and the stamens are exerted. 

  • Grayish-green leaves emerge in October, remain evergreen over winter, and die back in the spring.

Insects, Diseases and Other Plant Problems: Red spider lily has no serious insect or disease problems. Narcissus bulb fly occasionally feeds on this species. Avoid overwatering to prevent root rot.

VIDEO created by Andy Pulte for “Landscape Plant Identification, Taxonomy, and Morphology” a plant identification course offered by the Department of Plant Sciences, University of Tennessee.

 

 

 

More information on Lycoris.

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Fire Engine'
    Bright red flowers
  • 'Red Sunset'
    Reddish Pink Flowers
'Fire Engine', 'Red Sunset'
Tags:
#hummingbird friendly#bulb#showy flowers#poisonous#small spaces#perennial bulbs#red flowers#mass planting#large flowers#summer bulbs#naturalizes#courtyard garden#naturalized area#gray-green leaves#border front#flowers late summer#walkway planting#butterfly friendly#flowers early fall#lawn planting#landscape plant sleuths course#long lived
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Fire Engine'
    Bright red flowers
  • 'Red Sunset'
    Reddish Pink Flowers
'Fire Engine', 'Red Sunset'
Tags:
#hummingbird friendly#bulb#showy flowers#poisonous#small spaces#perennial bulbs#red flowers#mass planting#large flowers#summer bulbs#naturalizes#courtyard garden#naturalized area#gray-green leaves#border front#flowers late summer#walkway planting#butterfly friendly#flowers early fall#lawn planting#landscape plant sleuths course#long lived
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Lycoris
    Species:
    radiata
    Family:
    Amaryllidaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Bulb
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    China, Japan, Korea, and Nepal
    Distribution:
    Native: China North-Central, China South-Central, China Southeast, Japan, Korea, and Nepal. Introduced: United States--AL, FL, GA, IL, KY, LA, and VA; Nansei-Shoto, and Seychelles
    Wildlife Value:
    Attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Attracts Pollinators
    Easy to Grow
    Bulb Storage:
    Store bulbs dry at 45-55°F
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Bulb
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Poisonous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Umbel
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Funnel
    Tubular
    Flower Petals:
    6 petals/rays
    Tepals
    Flower Size:
    3-6 inches
    Flower Description:
    Flowers terminal, 4-6, nodding, on a naked stem 1 to 2 feet tall. Flowers are 6-parted, red, funnel-shaped, the lobes strongly reflexed and wavy. The stamens are exserted and resemble spider legs. Blooms in late summer to early fall.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Fleshy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Rosulate
    Leaf Shape:
    Linear
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are basal, narrowly strap-like, and fleshy. Remain throughout the winter and dieback in the spring.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Lawn
    Naturalized Area
    Patio
    Small Space
    Walkways
    Landscape Theme:
    Asian Garden
    Butterfly Garden
    Children's Garden
    Cottage Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Small groups
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Problems:
    Poisonous to Humans
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Causes only low toxicity if bulb is eaten. Abdominal pain, salivation, shivering, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Lycorine, an alkaloid
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Roots