Sprekelia formosissima

Aztec Lily

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Item #: 5279

Zones: 7b to 10b, at least

Dormancy: Winter

Height: 12" tall

Culture: Sun to Part Sun

Origin: Mexico

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

Regular price $22.00
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The Aztec lily is one of those plants that is so spectacular and reliable, we can't imagine gardening without it. What appears to be a tender woodland plant is, in fact, native to rock outcrops in the Mexican mountains. For us, Sprekelia formosissima has performed best in our dry rock scree in full baking sun. For those in the Deep South, some afternoon shade is best. Sprekelia formosissima bulbs multiply nicely to make a clump of narrow green leaves which burst into flower in early April and continue through May. After a summer rest, sprekelia usually reflower in the fall. The 6" brilliant red flowers most closely resemble a delicate hippeastrum...truly stunning!


Where Sprekelia is winter-hardy, generally Zone 7b and warmer, it is very low maintenance, needing little more than removing foliage killed by frost in the fall. Aztec lilies can go for years without being divided and still bloom, though a greater rate of increase can be had by dividing every 3 to 5 years. The crowded bulbs once liberated will more rapidly grow to blooming size.

Sprekelia should be no more difficult than a Hippeastrum (commonly known as amaryllis) to grow in a container and overwinter in a frost free location in areas where it is not winter-hardy. It can be kept dormant all winter in a cool frost-free location, withholding water until spring when it can go outside for the growing season.

Growing Conditions:

A full sun location is probably best in Zone 7, perhaps part day sun in hotter parts of its range. Average soil. Though very drought tolerant it will make use of available moisture so it does not need to be protected from wet at any point in the year other than avoiding a soggy soil.


Sprekelia's specific epithet "formosissima" indicates not only that it is beautiful but very beautiful.

Natural Impact:

Sprekelia's spectacular blooms will stop most people in their tracks. It's growth habit is much like Hippeastrum, Crinums, and other members of the amaryllis family, forming a clump of strap shaped leaves with flowers borne on the top of a naked scape. It might be used as a single specimen or in masses.