Kent’s Korner – August 30, 2019

Rarely, throughout the coastal southeast, are surprises that suddenly appear in late summer pleasant. Coinciding with hurricane season, in late August and throughout September, hurricane lilies, Lycoris spp., defy this conventional wisdom. These bulbs in the amaryllis family seemingly appear out of nowhere, shooting leafless flower stalks 12 to 24″ from the ground. Adorned with delicate tubular flowers, they provide a delightful presence in the late summer garden. Generally appearing following late season rains, each bulb sprouts between one and four stems that produce 8″ clusters of flowers that have a spidery appearance. Hurricane lilies don’t require fertilization or irrigation, but they prefer partial shade and benefit from rich, moist soils. In the Lowcountry it is best to amend the soil with compost prior to planting. Use caution when planting these flowers in the presence of pets and small children. All Lycoris species contain the alkaloid poison, lycorine, which makes the plant resistant to damage from deer and rodents but can be harmful if consumed. While enjoying the community this fall, keep an eye out for this delightful surprise popping up where you might least expect it.

Lycoris radiata at the Nicklaus Clubhouse Porte-cochère

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