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Sprekelia formosissima 'Early Riser'

Early Riser Aztec Lily

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Item #: 15659

Zones: 7b to 10b, at least

Dormancy: Winter

Height: 22" tall

Culture: Sun to Part Sun

Origin: Mexico

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

This splendid clonal form of the Mexican Aztec Lily came from Italian plantsman Angelo Porcelli. For us, Sprekelia 'Early Riser', a cross of Sprekelia 'Orient Red' x Sprekelia 'Superba', is the earliest flowering selection that we've seen, starting for us in early May. The 22" tall stalks, compared to 14" tall in the typical Dutch-sold clone, are each topped with a large solitary bright red flower, composed of 6 narrow petals. Our quantities to share are limited.


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. Sprekelia 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.