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Hurricane Lilies
Like Clockwork They Arrive, Even If Hurricanes Don't
September 29, 2008

Some call them spider lilies. The proper name is lycoris radiata and around here, they are perhaps better known as hurricane lilies. They pop up in September, the month when, more than any other, hurricanes tend to visit Oriental.

A Freemason Street yard where some hurricane lilies have popped out… .

The flowers’ arrivals are a bit more sudden than the hurricanes they are named for. One day you’ll have a clear patch of soil, then, after a good soaking rain, a stalk may appear and within days a showy, red coral flower will burst out. It’ll stay for a few days and then disappear, with just the leaves to linger.

Rainwater dries on a hurricane lily.

Thanks to a tradition of the bulbs being shared among friends, there’s a good number of places in town where you can see this yearly emergence. With September pulling to a close, here are just a few of the lycoris that have literally popped up in town recently.

A side yard on Mildred Street.
Growing outside a planter on South Water Street.
About to burst open on Neuse Street.


Coming thru the steps at a house on Freemason Street.Photo credit: Sue Henry
Near the side door of M&M’s.
Growing in a thicket of plants on Midyette Street.
A flashy touch near humble surroundings. .
They appear right out of the lawn as in this Mildred Street yard.
An interlacing as seen from above.
One bloomed and one about to.
More on the way.

Posted Monday September 29, 2008 by Melinda Penkava

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