Lycoris radiata plant

Family – Liliaceae

Stems: N/A

Leaves: N/A


Lycoris radiata flower
Lycoris radiata flora tube

Base of flower

Flowering – August – October.

Habitat – Widely cultivated and escaped to disturbed sites, waste places, old homesites. Almost always in sandy soil.

Origin – Native to Asia.

Other information – This attractive species can be found throughout much of Alabama but is rarely reported as an escape. The naked flowering scapes arise from deep bulbs during the fall and then quickly wilt. The plant makes a great garden specimen but seems to prefer well drained (sandy) soil. No other species of lily in Alabama resembles it.

The genus name Lycoris is given in honor of the Roman (Greek) mine actress who was a mistress to Mark Antony (~50BC). The name Lycoris is a pseudonym of the name Cytheris (which was given to a genus of orchids).

The species epithet radiata derives from the Latin “radi(at)” meaning “a spoke, ray, radius” referring to the spreading flowers of the inflorescence and the spreading tepals of the flower.

Alabama Distribution

Lycoris radiata map

Photographs taken off Hwy 65 near Lake Providence, LA., 10-1-06.

Ben McInerney
Author: Ben McInerney - Ben is a qualified arborist with 15 plus years of industry experience in Arboriculture. He ran a successful tree service before turning to writing and publishing. Ben is dedicated to providing users with the most accurate up-to-date information on everything trees.