Plant of the day: naked lady

Amaryllis belladonnaTall, garish pink lilies are blooming in the dry grass of hillsides and fencelines. These are naked ladies (also known as pink ladies, Latin name Amaryllis belladonna), which are one of the classic sights of late summer in California. Their name comes from the fact that they don’t flower until after their lush mound of spring leaves have died back and disappeared. Then each single blossom rises on a long naked stalk.

The large horn-shaped blossoms have six pointed petals, six stamens topped with crescent-shaped anthers, and a delicate scent. This non-native lily was planted widely by early settlers, and patches of the flower on remote hillsides can be a clue that a garden or homestead once stood there. They are hardy, handling transplanting well and spreading locally so that eventually a few scattered plants can grow into a dense and colorful patch. Luckily it doesn’t spread widely and so it remains a colorful novelty and not a full-blown invasive species…

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3 Comments

Filed under Non-native, Plant of the day

3 responses to “Plant of the day: naked lady

  1. thank you for identifying this! i see it popping up all over the mountain and was wondering about it’s potential as an invasive, glad to know it’s on the light side so I can keep my attention focused on the brooms, licorice plant, thistles … thanks for the great blog, i’m a fan!

  2. Linda. Crumpler

    Will these grow in Eastern NC zone 7A.

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