Lycoris in sun or shade

Tony Avent
Mon, 28 Aug 2006 09:27:37 PDT

So, which species have you found that don't like summer baking?

Tony Avent
Plant Delights Nursery @
Juniper Level Botanic Garden
9241 Sauls Road
Raleigh, North Carolina  27603  USA
Minimum Winter Temps 0-5 F
Maximum Summer Temps 95-105F
USDA Hardiness Zone 7b
phone 919 772-4794
fax  919 772-4752
"I consider every plant hardy until I have killed it least three times" - Avent

James Waddick wrote:
> Dear All;
> 	A number of topics have been brought up here that I think I 
> can address at least in part.
> 	Sun or Shade	- I have seen a few species in bloom in the 
> wild in a few locations and many in bloom in cultivation.
> 	Most species are found only in shade, but your definition of 
> shade 'depends' . They are common in woodland edges where they may 
> get a brief exposure to full sun, others are in open deciduous 
> woodlands. In both cases their foliage would be in more sun when the 
> foliage is active and their bloom in shade due to their growth cycle. 
> I grow most of mine in some shade.
> 	Some Lycoris tolerate a LOT of sun, but it is climate 
> dependant. Remember foliage is ONLY present in times of the year when 
> sun is at 'low power' fall, early spring or winter.
> 	Bulbs DO NOT want summer baking, but some can tolerate it to 
> some degree.
> and incidentally. Every species I have seen growing wild in China has 
> been in a very mild climate. The bulbs were essentially at the 
> surface in very damp sites. Year round wet sites. Even in cold 
> climate the bulbs grow very shallowly. They benefit from year round 
> watering.
> 	Sterile/Fertile	the two most common Lycoris L. squamigera and 
> L. radiata are represented in cultivation by sterile triploid forms. 
> They (rarely) never produce viable seeds . These are very vigorous 
> and tolerate a wide variety of climates.
> Here in the midwest masses of L. squamigera are common. In milder 
> climates L. radiata (ssp radiata) are even more common and often 
> considered agricultural weeds. They clog rice terraces in places and 
> I have seen heaps of small bulbs tossed aside in weeding.
> 	Other species are very fertile and produce voluminous seed- 
> L. longituba, L. chinensis., L. sprengeri. Seeds are large, rounded 
> like small peas. Seeds germinate well, but are slow to reach blooming 
> size. They  are also very interfertile and form hybrid swarms from 
> yellow to white, orange pink and peach shades. It makes ID very 
> confusing. I have self sown seedlings in the garden from various 
> species.
> 	Price	I never understand this, but they all seem to be 
> coming more and more specialty bulbs. They do have an odd life cycle 
> which means the best time to divide, move, replant is from June to 
> August with little root drying in the process. Bulbs submitted to 
> Dutch regimes of summer digging, drying and holding until Oct sales 
> are severely stressed and often are extremely slow to recover and 
> resume bloom.  Although the genus contains at least 25 species and 
> numerous ssp and countless hybrids, few are common in commerce. 
> Misidentification is extremely common. The best deal is to buy them 
> direct from a specialty grower who knows how to handle them or potted 
> for minimal disturbance.
> 	US versus UK	Most Chinese Lycoris (most Lycoris) come from 
> the continental climates of E and Central China. They do best in 
> continental climates of E and Central US. The UK has a  far more 
> moderate climate without either summer or winter extremes.  I'd think 
> some of the Japanese species would do well there.
> 	Some species are quite hardy easily growing unprotected in 
> parts of Zone 4 in the US.
> 	Critique		L. squamigera is a near perfect 
> garden subject for the midwest (at least). Totally hardy in Zone 5, 
> with essentially no pests or diseases  and blooms heavily in a time 
> when few other plants are in flower. With a collection of various 
> species and hybrids, bloom season can extend for 6 or more weeks. If 
> it has any faults it is the voluminous foliage in spring, but that 
> soon disappears and can be over planted with a variety of other 
> summer growing plants.
> 	Drop me a private email and I'll send you a few pix of 
> recently blooming species and hybrids.
> 			Best	Jim W.

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