More Information About Lycoris
There are two groups of lycoris (surprise lily / spider lily / hurricane lily): those whose leaves emerge in fall (e.g., Lycoris radiata), and those whose leaves emerge in spring (e.g., Lycoris squamigera). The fall foliage lycoris (red spider lily) is winter hardy down to Zone 6b. However, the spring foliage lycoris (L. squamigera) can survive as far north as Zone 3. These charming bulbs produce red, pink, yellow, or cream colored flowers on naked stems during the late summer or fall (during hurricane season in the US) which is why they are frequently called the hurricane lily. After the flowers are finished, lycoris bulbs grow leaves which hang around until late spring. Unlike most bulbs, surprise lilies have foliage that grows in the winter and goes dormant in the summer.
We continue to trial and propagate a huge selection of lycoris (see our hurricane lily photo gallery), which we will gradually make available. Traditionally, only a few species and cultivars of lycoris, such as the red spider lily / hurricane lily, have been available in America...however, several Asian lycoris selections are starting to make their way into specialty nurseries. We have been gathering them together and we now have the largest collection of hurricane lilies in the United States.
Lycoris prefers a part sun/part shaded site and although it can tolerate dry conditions, it will perform best with regular water, even when dormant. Lycoris leaves and roots are toxic, so deer and rodents leave them alone, but butterflies love the flowers. try pairing your spider lilies and surprise lilies with plants that fill in when they are dormant such as: small hemerocallis and its amaryllid relative, zephyranthes or pair them with more permanent plants such as small agave or graptopetalum. When you are ready to buy lycoris for your garden, check out our online offering of lycoris for sale.