Lycoris aurea var. surgens ??

Tony Avent
Tue, 04 Sep 2007 12:35:26 PDT

We have also heard about the tenderness of Lycoris aurea for years and 
had shied away from trying it.  Several years ago, I saw a collection of 
Lycoris aurea at Duke Gardens that Paul Jones had made in China.  It had 
grown for several years and flowered well there.  We later obtained 
plants that originated in Guizhou, China under the name L. aurea.  When 
they flowered, they perfectly keyed to L. aurea, which is the only 
species whose flower stalk emerges with old leaf sheathes at the base.  
We have grown this plant for four years (a winter low of 8 degrees F 
during that time), and it has been fine with no special siting or winter 
mulch.  My theory is that since L. aurea has a wide range, that some of 
the early material into the US was from a tropical part of its range.  
As Mark Twain once said, "Rumors of my demise have been greatly 
exaggerated."...ditto Lycoris aurea.  Thoughts?

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 Adam et al,
> 	This is an interesting species. According to the best I can 
> find, this species is endemic to Upper Burma and like all ssp of L. 
> aurea sub- tropical in growth demands. In my experience and 
> understanding all L. aurea are extremely frost tender and if the 
> winter green  foliage (which is the most succulent in the genus) is 
> exposed to even light freezes it will collapse and bloom is 
> compromised.
> 	I think that anyone growing a plant with this label and in 
> your Zonel has a misidentified plant.
> 	Your " L. a surgens"  could be any of various yellow flowered 
> species - the most likely is of course L. chinensis, or L. longituba 
> var  flava or a hybrid of these two.
> 	The true L. aurea has the remains of its leaf bases still 
> prominent at the base of the scape.
> 	Leaves produced in autumn.
> 	Leaves are the largest of any species over 2 feet long, 1 
> inch wide and distinctly succulent.
> 	Does this fit your plant?
> 	Few people are able to bloom the true species north of Zone 8 or 9.
> 	Best		Jim W.
>>   I note that L. aurea v. surgens, however is setting seed.

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