In late summer, the bare stalks shoot upward topped with clusters of pink flowers. Photo by David Longron.


Story by David Longron

Most bulbs send up shoots of green leaves in the spring, followed shortly by a flower or flower spikes. Apparently, resurrection lily didn’t get that memo. They do send up a cluster of leaves in the spring that die off in early summer like most others, but the flower spikes do not appear until late summer. At that time, bare stalks, 18-24 inches tall, shoot up, each topped with four to seven trumpet-shaped pink flowers. 

Lycoris provide a splash of color during the hot dry summer when other flowering plants are fading. Photo by Steve Trusty.

Resurrection lilies require little care or fertilization and will return for years and years. They are best used in perennial beds or naturalized areas. These beauties provide a much-appreciated sudden burst of color at the hottest, driest time of year.  

Resurrection lilies produce clusters of dark green leaves but no flowers in the spring. Photo by David Longron.

Quick Facts and Keys to Success
Common Name: Resurrection lily, surprise lily, naked ladies
Botanical Name: Lycoris squamigera
USDA Hardiness Zone(s): 5-9
Color: Pink
Type: Bulb
Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
Planting: Can be purchased as bulbs in spring or transplanted in early fall after blooming. Plant bulbs 4-6 inches deep, 6-10 inches apart in clusters or lining beds. 
Care: Little to no care needed after establishment, but may need to be thinned on occasion.
Uses: Best used in naturalized areas or perennial beds where the foliage can be left alone until after it fades.

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