Sprekelia formosissima 'Yucatan'

Yucatan Aztec Lily

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Item #: 14296

Zones: 7b to 10b, at least

Dormancy: Winter

Height: 14" tall

Culture: Sun to Part Sun

Origin: Mexico

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

Our offering of the fertile Sprekelia 'Yucatan' comes from seed we grew from a collection from the Tulum Mayan ruins in Mexico's Yucatan peninsula, shared by NC plantsman George Dees. We've had these in the garden since 2011, where they've survived with no protection despite their tropical origins. Many of the cultivated Aztec lilies don't set seed, but that's not the case with this self-fertile seed strain. The hippeastrum-like foliage emerges in spring, much darker green, much narrower 3/8" wide vs. 3/4" and 14" long vs. 28" compared to the typical commercial form. The clumps are topped, starting in mid-spring with solitary large red flowers. We usually get good re-flowering in fall. A dry, well-drained part sun site is best.


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 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.