One of the delights of many older Southern landscapes is the emergence of spider lilies. Their blooms are appearing across the middle and lower south now, and I must say it is one of my favorite bulbs of fall even thought they have a short bloom period. While there are red, white, and yellow types, the reds are the most common and easiest to grow. In fact, many gardeners think there are two selections of red ones; those that bloom in late August, and those that bloom around mid September. But I have never seen them for sale saying this is the early bloomer or this is the late bloomer.
The magnificent mass you see in the image above is in a friend of mine’s woodland, and while the blooms are slightly past their peak, it is one of the best plantings I have seen in the metro area. Mine (in the other images) were collected from my grandmother’s in Selma, which she grew behind the garage, and they were strictly for cutting to bring indoors. I have found many times when they are transplanted they may take up to two years before they start flowering, but since in late fall they put up their green “monkey grass” looking foliage, you know they are alive. Once you plant them, leave them alone until the clusters of bulbs are so dense that they stop blooming (which is a very long time). While this is a great pass along plant (as the bulbs are very expensive), you can find them in some garden centers and also can be ordered from the Southern Bulb Company. To me they are worth the wait, and I feel like they just pop up and bloom overnight.