August 14, 2013

Naked Ladies

Tis the season for spotting Naked Ladies in gardens around this area. Don’t be dashing off looking for Playboy centerfolds, but do keep an eye out for a late summer variety of lilies!naked ladies

Naked Ladies, a variety of amaryllis, are unusual in that they flower without the usual long leaves of other lilies like day lilies. image

Their leaves sprout and grow in early summer and then die back. Around mid-August, all of a sudden, the stems shoot straight up and each stem has between five and twelve flower on it. They die back after a week or so, and then the leaves sprout for a second time.

My friend Stiles loves the Naked Ladies especially because they were a favourite of fellow Marylander and gardener, Harvey Ladew, whose incredible gardens we so admire. image

There’s a great old story about Harvey Ladew and a friend who were discussing acquiring Naked Lady lilies probably in the 1930’s or so. “Ladew had admired the lilies in his friend’s garden,” says Ladew’s chief gardener Tyler Diehl. “The friend cabled to say he would send 50 naked ladies to Monkton if Mr. Ladew could handle them. Mr. Ladew cabled back, saying that he could easily handle 50 naked ladies if they were disease free. Of course he knew the message would scandalize telegraph operators on both ends, which was part of the fun.

When I was talking about the Naked Ladies to some friends the other night, one of them grabbed my hand and pulled me out to the then-dark garden. “Are these Naked Ladies?”, he asked. He’s spotted them in the garden of the house where they’d just moved, and had sworn that they weren’t there the week before.

15 comments:

  1. I love learning new things - about gardens, and about things that are even slightly raunchy. This hits both marks! 8-)

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    1. And I love that they were sending "dirty" telegrams!

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  2. That is a great story Meg!! My mother has always had Naked Ladies in her Garden and I love seeing them out and about!

    xoxo
    Karena
    2013 Designer Series

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  3. Thanks for clearing up the mystery! I've been seeing these beautiful flowers all week while I was driving around. I definitely must have them in my garden next year!

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    1. Joan... see if you can get the bulbs now and plant them in September, so they'll come up next spring.

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  4. Learn something new every day! Or try too. I do not have these in my garden but they would be a welcome addition in my little plot since there's not much blooming.

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    1. I think that they look best when they're either planted along an edge with some other things, rather than in the dirt with nothing around them.

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  5. we had something called Rain Lilles in the south, that looked very similar, however they only lasted for one day + came up after a rain + they were pink one a single stem. hmmmmmm xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

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    1. Peggy... i don't know about rain lilies. i will have to investigate.

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  6. They are Squamigera Lycoris (also called 'Naked Ladies,' ‘Magic Lily’ or ‘Resurrection Lily’)

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    1. I thought they were Amaryllis belladonna...

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  7. Zephyranthes (“Rain Lily”), also known as “Fairy Lily” or “Zephyr Lily,” produce 2" Crocus-like blooms which open out into stars, especially after a late-summer rain. Borne singly on 1-1½’ stems. Good for rock gardens. For planting in the garden bed choose Candida or for pots Citrina or Robustus. Reported to be deer-resistant. Zones 7-10 and down to Zone 5 for Candida.

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  8. I think Zephyranthes are something else, smaller and frequently blue or white, while Naked Ladies are a type of Amaryllis? More research .... I'm SURE they are not a day lily, which has a more tuber/enlarged root type thing it grows from - these are an actual large bulb (like the tender amaryllis grown indoors in the winter in the Northern Hemisphere or outside in South Africa, central America, etc.

    Ceci

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