Lycoris in summer dry climates -NOT and....

James Waddick
Mon, 23 Aug 2010 06:06:13 PDT
Dear Jim McK and all

	I can unequivocally state Lycoris are NOT in need of summer 
dry or summer baking and that they suffer from extended drought any 
time during their growing seasons.

	L. radiata is essentially a weed of rice paddies and swamp 
edges.  I have seen a number of species grown in wet soil immediately 
near flowing water. Most species are native to regions with summer 
rain fall either monsoon rains, or just scattered summer storms.

	In pots, Lycoris need regular watering or they will dry out, 
shrink bulb size, loose roots and die - not necessarily in that order.

	This year we have had a very wet spring to the start of 
summer, but as Lycoris bloom season approached, we entered an 
extended dry hot period that covered a large part of the US. Lycoris 
bloom has been way under typical and spotty at best. Established beds 
throw up a few stalks here and there and a few more days or a week 
later, but none of the major displays. In local gardens that have 
automated sprinklers (evidenced by green lawns), the common L. 
squamigera is blooming happily in abundance.

AND L. aurea is one of the most mis-Ided of any Lycoris species.

	The true species is the largest in the genus with foliage 
over an inch in width and up to a yard long. It is also quite 
succulent in texture and almost 100 % frost damaged. In any climate 
with extended frost and no protection, the leaves will be damaged or 
killed, the bulbs are much less likely to flower etc.

	L. aurea is also quite variable. Kurita, the Japanese expert 
on the genus has identified 5 cytoraces with a 2n equal to  12, 13, 
14, 15 and 16. Some of these are anatomically distinct. I suspect 
some may have more hardiness.

	AS a fertile species, seedlings may vary also in their 
adaptability to specific sites.

	There are other hardier yellow flowered Lycoris that can be 
confused with L. aurea. These range fro slightly tender to bone hardy.
	L. traubii
	L. chinensis (and yellow hybrids with L. longituba and L. 
longituba flava)
	L. caldwellii
	L. anhuiensis (rare in cultivation)

	And there may well be L. aurea hybrids produced in Japan and 
distributed commercially.

	Due to its essentially frost intolerance, the true species is 
not widely grown successfully.

	Any help?		Best		Jim W.
Dr. James W. Waddick
8871 NW Brostrom Rd.
Kansas City Missouri 64152-2711
Ph.    816-746-1949
Zone 5 Record low -23F
	Summer 100F +

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