Lycoris - Spider Lilies for the Perennial Garden


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Welcome to Plant Delights Nursery at Juniper Level Botanic Gardens. We are a private research and display botanic garden located near Raleigh, North Carolina (USDA Hardiness Zone 7b). Our retail mail order division allows us to make the best perennials from our trials available to gardeners around the world, some of which were developed here, some from our plant explorations, and others from breeders around the world. Between 1988 and 2010, Plant Delights Nursery introduced over 500 new perennial plants to US horticulture. In 2002, we were honored to be recognized by the American Horticulture Society for our lifetime of work in commercial horticulture. This image gallery is but a sampling of the great perennial plants available for gardeners around the world. We do not carry all plants pictured at any one time, but since our mission is to educate and inspire, we hope these images and the linked articles below will expand your garden horizons and interest. You will find an array of other interesting information and fascinating perennials throughout our website...thank you for taking time to visit.

Here at Plant Delights Nursery, we sell both groups of Lycoris (surprise lily / spider lily): those whose leaves emerge in fall (e.g., Lycoris radiata), and those whose leaves emerge in spring (e.g., Lycoris squamigera). Both groups of Lycoris are charming bulbs that produce red (Lycoris radiata), pink (Lycoris squamigera), yellow (Lycoris aurea), or cream colored (Lycoris houdyshelii and others) flowers on naked stems during the late summer or fall. A few of the rare hybrid spider lily cultivars even have blue and purple tints to the flowers.

After the flowers are finished, Spider Lilies produce strap-like leaves which persist until late spring and then go dormant for the summer. We have a huge collection of lycoris species and hybrids, which we put into our catalog on a rotating basis including some rare Asian species and cultivars. Spider Lilies prefer part sun/part shaded site and regular water, even when dormant. Lycoris plants are deer-resistant but butterflies love the flowers.

Spider Lilies do not compete well with nearby plants, so companion plants should be slow to spread and widely spaced. Try pairing Lycoris with dwarf hosta, agave, ferns, echeveria or graptopetalum. Individual spider lily plants are not large, so they look best when planted in a large group or when featured in a special spot like a rock garden. One of the most beautiful sites in the gardening world is a forest of bare deciduous trees under-planted with thousands of spider lily plants. In full bloom, this sea of red beneath the naked branches is truly a stunning site.

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