was Amaryllis belladonna, now Lycoris

Jim McKenney jamesamckenney@verizon.net
Sat, 04 Aug 2018 15:13:17 PDT
Lycoris squamigera has been blooming here in the greater Washington D.C. area for two weeks. At least two people who keep records of when their plants bloom have mentioned that they are early this year. 
Just before they bloomed we had torrential, flooding rains but also excess rain in general. I think I heard that this July was the wettest on local record; apparently we had as much rain in July as we typically do in an entire year. 
Those of you who follow my posts know that I like words. Several years ago i coined a word, oporanthous, to describe those plants which bloom at this time of year (the period from late July through mid-late September). It's the period which in everyday conversation we call the dog days of summer. The dog in question is not the ones lolling around panting and with their tongues hanging out. It's the dog star Sirius in the constellation Canis Major. The other one of Orion's dogs (this one part of the constellation Canis Minor) is sometimes named Procyon (PRO-cy-on) Procyon in modern zoological nomenclature is the genus name of raccoons. Too bad that name Procyon was not used for the so-called raccoon dog, Nyctereutes procyonoides (Google it; it's a canid, a dog. which looks like a raccoon).  
But now back to  the word oporanthous: it turns out that there is another word for the same concept, and this one has a much longer history of usage in English, although I'll bet most of you have never heard it or used it. The word is canicular.So call these plants canicular or oporanthous, but please don't call them autumn blooming!
Jim McKenneyMontgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where various Zephyranthes have also responded to the rain. 
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