Lycoris radiata (Spider Lily)

Lycoris radiata-Spider Lily on 9-8-09, #34-16.

Spider Lily

Lycoris radiata

LY-kor-iss rad-ee-AY-tuh

Synonyms of Lycoris radiata (10) (Updated on 11-8-22 from Plants of the World Online): Amaryllis radiata L’Hér. (1789), Lycoris radiata f. bicolor N.Yonez. (1989), Lycoris radiata var. kazukoana N.Yonez. (1989), Lycoris radiata var pumila Grey (1838), Lycoris radiata var. terraccianii Dammann (1889), Lycoris terracianii Dammann (1989), Nerine japonica Miq. (1865), Nerine japonica alba J.R.Duncan & V.C.Davies (1925), Nerine radiata (L’Hér.) Sweet (1826), Orexis radiata (L’Hér.) Salisb. (1866)

Lycoris radiata (L’Hér.) Herb. is the accepted scientific name for this species of Lycoris. Both the genus and species were named and described as such by William Herbert in Botanical Magazine in 1819. It was first described as Amaryllis radiata by Charles Louis L’Héritier de Brutelle in Sertum Anglicum in 1788.

As of 11-8-22 when this page was last updated, Plants of the World Online by Kew lists 22 accepted species in the Lycoris genus. It is a member of the plant family Amaryllidaceae with 69 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made on POWO.

One afternoon in September 2009, I was mowing the front yard at the mansion and saw several of these AWESOME red flowers. I had never seen any like them before! SO, I stopped mowing and went inside and got the camera. I had only been in Mississippi for about nine months at the time, and I was always running across something new. Although there were only a few in my yard, there were other yards with LOTS of them. A lot of people there call them Naked Ladies, but their true common name is Spider Lily.

The leaves of Lycoris radiata come up in the fall and remains evergreen throughout the winter. The bulb then goes dormant in the spring. The bulbs are hardy in my zone here in mid-Missouri, but if the winters are too cold they may not flower. I guess there is a difference between “bulb hardiness” and “flower hardiness”.

According to the Missouri Botanical Garden (USDA Zone 6a), bulbs should be planted so their “necks” are above ground. Burying the bulbs too deep will result in poor flowering. After flowering, the leaves appear.

FAMILY: Amaryllidaceae.
ORIGIN: Japan.
ZONES: USDA Zones 6-10.
FLOWERS: Red flowers August and September.
LIGHT: Full sun to part shade.

There is a white-flowered species available called Lycoris albiflora.

Someday I may have to purchase a few Lycoris radiata and give them a try here on the farm. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, I would like to hear from you.

I hope you enjoyed this page and maybe found it useful. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, I would like to hear from you. Please click on “like” if you visited this page. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. 🙂 You can check out the links below for further reading. The links take you directly to the genus and species of this plant. If you notice I made an error, please let me know.


2 comments on “Lycoris radiata (Spider Lily)

  1. Betty says:

    USDA zone 8a

    30 years ago while removing a privet hedge, I found an old florist’s small pot containing 3 unknown bulbs. Eventually they were planted in dappled shade, apparently too deep, and over the years the number of bulbs increased to ten with leaves appearing every year but no blooms. The lengthwise stripe on the leaves was an indication they might be spider lilies.

    Motivated by research, 2 years ago they were planted in full sun. Research also indicated shallow planting, and not to fear exposing the top of the bulb. Not enough diligence to cite that source.

    The bulbs that were not exposed produced leaves, and one of them bloomed …red with a white stripe and a sturdy flower stem. The partially exposed bulbs cannot be found.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Betty! Great story! You never know what you will find. I am glad you relocated the bulbs and have at least one to bloom. Hopefully, they will continue to do well and you will get more flowers. Take care and thanks for the comment!


Please leave a comment. I would like to hear from you.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.