Lycoris x straminea

Houdyshel's Surprise Lily

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Item #: 3820

Zones: 6a to 9b, at least

Dormancy: Summer

Height: 20" tall

Culture: Sun to Light Shade

Origin: China

Pot Size: 3.5" pot (24 fl. oz/0.7 L)

This rare, naturally-occurring hybrid surprise lily (Lycoris straminea x Lycoris radiata var. pumila) is found in the Chinese provinces of Jiangsu and Zhejiang. It was first imported to the US in 1948 and named in 1957 by Dr. Traub in honor of bulb collector Cecil Houdyshel. The frilly, light-yellow flowers top the 20" tall stalks that seemingly appear from nowhere in mid- to late-August. Emerging from the center of the petals are long stamens, often tinged in light pink, like eyelashes on a lady of the evening. After flowering, the deer-resistant winter rosettes of 15" long basal leaves emerge in late September and persist all winter. This has been a superb and reliable bloomer for us.