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Hurricane Lilies 2017
Some of This Year's Crop in Oriental
September 30, 2017

T
hey come, they pop, they fade away. Every September flashes of red hover a foot or so above many front and back yards in Oriental.

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Hurricane lilies in a driveway on Academy Street.

The botanical name is Lycoris radiata, but locally they are better known as hurricane lilies because their September show comes at what has historically been the peak of Oriental’s hurricane season. A good soaking rain is what draws them out – whether from a storm surge or a thundershower. Another name, spider lilies, comes from the arrangement of those stamen the bloom’s outer edge.

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Hurricane lilies next to a Neuse St house.

By any name, they give little advance warning of their arrival – one day a simple no-frills stalk pushes up through a lawn or garden bed, the very picture of subtlety, and then – wham! – a few days later the showy bloom emerges. In some yards they come in early September, others a week or two later. Most have dried now, their lustre dulled, but some clusters were captured in their prime, one day in mid-September:

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Lilies in a line in a Freemason Street yard.
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As seen from below, Hurricane (or Spider) lilies on Freemason.
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Driveway hurricane lilies on Academy Street.
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Academy Street driveway lilies, view to the north east.
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Stretching skyward.
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The eventual fade.

Posted Saturday September 30, 2017 by Melinda Penkava


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