Plant Database

perennial

Surprise Lily

Lycoris squamigera

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Surprise Lily (Lycoris squamigera) at GardenWorks

Surprise Lily flowers

Surprise Lily flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Surprise Lily (Lycoris squamigera) at GardenWorks

Surprise Lily in bloom

Surprise Lily in bloom

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Plant Height:  12 inches

Flower Height:  24 inches

Spacing:  6 inches

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  5a

Other Names:  Magic Lily, Resurrection Lily

Description:

A cluster of surprise lilies makes a striking accent anywhere; looks great in the semi-shaded woodland garden or along edges where the withering summer foliage wont be an issue; it is also used in containers; it can be divided every 3 or 4 years

Ornamental Features

Surprise Lily features showy clusters of fragrant rose trumpet-shaped flowers with white overtones, buttery yellow throats and lavender streaks at the ends of the stems in mid summer, which emerge from distinctive purple flower buds. Its narrow leaves remain green in colour throughout the season. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Surprise Lily is an open herbaceous perennial with tall flower stalks held atop a low mound of foliage. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other garden plants with less refined foliage.

This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and should not require much pruning, except when necessary, such as to remove dieback. It is a good choice for attracting butterflies and hummingbirds to your yard. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Surprise Lily is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • Border Edging
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Surprise Lily will grow to be about 12 inches tall at maturity extending to 24 inches tall with the flowers, with a spread of 8 inches. When grown in masses or used as a bedding plant, individual plants should be spaced approximately 6 inches apart. Its foliage tends to remain dense right to the ground, not requiring facer plants in front. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years. As this plant tends to go dormant in summer, it is best interplanted with late-season bloomers to hide the dying foliage.

This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This species is not originally from North America. It can be propagated by multiplication of the underground bulbs.

Surprise Lily is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. With its upright habit of growth, it is best suited for use as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Massing  Edging  Garden  Container 
Applications
Flowers  Texture  Plant Form  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features


Disclaimer - This Plant Database is an online catalog representing many of the varieties that we carry over the course of the season, and is intended for informational purposes only. Inventory varies seasonally, so we cannot guarantee that every plant will be in stock at all times - please contact your favourite GardenWorks location directly for current availability. It does not include our entire inventory of plants, so be sure to visit GardenWorks to see varieties that may not be represented on this list.