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I stopped at a friend’s house and this lily-looking flower was planted in a row…

Debra Asked

I stopped at a friend’s house and this lily-looking flower was planted in a row and blooming. I’ve never seen it in Kentucky. Would you know what it is?

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The Gardener’s Answer

Photo: Debra Wilson

The flower growing in your friend’s garden is a surprise lily or also commonly referred at as magic lily, resurrection lily, and naked lily; the scientific name is Lycoris squamigera. They are such a treat when other plants are fading for the season.

These bulbs belong to the amaryllis family and multiply quickly. They benefit from being divided every few years. After they finish blooming is the time to divide and share. Surprise lilies are best grown in full sun but are not too picky about soil conditions as long as it drains well.

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