Friday, September 27, 2013

I know what you are, but where did you come from?


I wrote about finding a yellow orchid in my woods one April day years ago.  The story went that I had just been to Dr. Ferrol Sams' garden.  I was walking up my driveway, looking over into the ivy and wondering how I could make a path and plant some native flowers like Dr. Sams had done in his woods.  Something yellow caught my eye.  I went over, and there was an orchid, yellow with a salmon tinge.  The flowers going up the foot-high stem looked like miniatures of those orchids we used to get for the prom.

Long story short, one of my neighbors came over with a book about native orchids, but nothing matched.  I finally saw the flower in the Plant Delights catalog.  How had a Japanese orchid come to live in my woods in the midst of an acre of ivy?  I still don't know.

So, the other day, I was going out to throw away some limbs in my brush pile when I saw a green stalk coming out of the ground.  I don't think I would have been so surprised if it had been a red spider lily, since I do have some up at the little house.

But, I could tell this was going to be a yellow flower.  I was pretty sure it was a lycoris.  Today, I was able to get a better picture, and more buds were open.  Lycoris aurea, according to the Google images.

All well and good, but how did this lone flower come to be on the path to the brush pile?  I have a feeling I'll never know the answer.  Scott Mcmahan had these for sale at one time, but I think his were a lighter yellow.  I remember wanting to get some, but I never did.  I'm trying to think.  A few years back, I tried to grow a variegated English holly in about the same spot.  Could it have been embedded in that plant, which eventually froze?  Not likely.  But, a yellow lycoris, which is not that common, would not just decide to come live in my yard.

I did see on one of the pictures that it said it was "easy to grow".   I feel sure this is the case, since it just popped out of the ground and looks very happy.  The deer have ignored it, which is always a good thing.

I'll have to remember to notice if any strappy foliage comes up this winter and then disappears.  What a thrill to find an unexpected treasure.  The plant world is forever fascinating indeed.

1 comment:

  1. Love these! I need to buy one. My red spider lilies are coming up now. And my orange sweet olive is now budded up after that good rain. Can't wait for the blooms.
    Linda

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