Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Legacy

When I moved to my own home, my grandmother and I dug up some bulbs of one of the most amazing plants I have ever seen, the Surprise Lily. I shared them with my sisters and planted them in my yard. I will be moving soon and so will they.

Plants, recipes and other traditions can provide an enduring legacy to the giver upon all who were touched by their lives. My grandmother is no longer with us, but her legacy remains.

Using Amplify, a social bookmarking site with a group blog, for such a project to begin or end Grandparents' Day would be a great way to encourage students to share their histories and legacies.

Plant of the Week
Surprise Lily,
Magic Lily, Naked Lady
Latin: Lycoris squamigera

Picture of Surprise Lillies (or Magic Lilies, or Naked Ladies) with tall stems and light pink flowers clustered at top of stems.

With the arrival of August, gardeners throughout the state are delighted to
see their gaudy and somewhat ungainly surprise lilies come into bloom. These
bulbous plants belong to the amaryllis family and are native to southern Japan.

The bulbs are as long as three inches in diameter with long necks and persist
for years once established. The foliage comes up in late winter and looks like a
large-leafed clump of daffodils, but without flowers. There will be one bloom
for about every 10 leaves produced by the clump. The leaves die away with the
arrival of the first warm days of late spring, usually disappearing below ground
by late May. This growth pattern is an adaptation of the species to survive in
an area with moist springs and prolonged periods of summer drought.

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Ali Hall said...

I wonder if these are the same lillies which I photographed at MY grandparents house? http://www.flickr.com/photos/27943334@N03/3324197427/

samccoy said...

Yes, Ali they are closely related...probably in the same genus. They are blooming in the same type of season, late summer, as ours do. I just learned this other name a few years ago. My grandparents called them Surprise Lilies. In some places, they are called Magic Lilies.

I loved your Flickr pictures of your grandparents garden.

If you want to learn more about the Surprise Lily. I found it as a University of Arkansas Extension Plant of the Week .

Ali Hall said...

Thanks Sheryl - Thanks for popping over to Flickr to see my photos. Unfortunately my Grandma can't get around as much as she used to but at least with plants like these she doesn't need to do any work for them to look beautiful. I will have to have a play with Amplify, thanks for suggesting it.