I stopped in at a nursery today that specializes in daffodils and daylillies but has other plants and bulbs. It's run by a very wonderful happy man named Elmo Crowe. He grows everything in a huge rock garden and also in a naturalized garden. I spotted the leaves of my particular plant immediately and sure enough, they were Naked Ladies! I had gotten desperate to plant them because after I dug them, we got hit with temperatures in the upper teens (here in NC) just after having 14 inches of snow and I couldn't plant them. They sat in a bucket for about 5 days and started turning yellow although I kept them moist. So I ran out this morning before I went to work and just used a shovel to open a place in the bank and dropped 2 or 3 of them in and covered them back up. I had seen daffodils do quite well growing on a steep bank and eventually spreading down the bank making a waterfall of color. Now I find my "daffodils" were naked ladies. Will they be o.k. in a bank too or do I need to move them again? How much shade will they tolerate?
George: this is the 1st spring at my new house. I didn't even know the bulbs were there let alone be able to describe them. I do know I saw one in late summer when I first saw the house, but definately not this many. I am a newbie & have no idea what Clivia is. Julie
The Naked Ladies do well in very poor and rocky soil here. I let nature water them in spring and winter and they sit and are completely dry until late fall. They bloom profusley except after being moved. They will bloom first year after transplanting if they were dug up after the foliage died otherwise it may take a year or so for them to recuperate. I dug up an area about 18 inch square and found almost a hundred bulbs cramped in between rocks. they had layered themselves and wedged in so tight I thought I would never get them out! They are huge bulbs the size of a softball in some cases and they are ugly while the foliage dies so I like to hide them behind other things. But they are like a breath of springtime when they bloom in the fall.
Thanks, Zanymuse. I will leave them where I put them and hope they recover but I won't have high hopes that they will bloom this fall. I will howeveer, take some of them back to the historic housesite where I dug them later on this fall. The bulbs were not as large as you describe, but I understand there is more than one kind.
The botanical name I learned for them is Amaryllis belladonna, in case you need to look 'em up.
Clivia would be good as a houseplant in your area... its leaves are wider and differently arranged, and a little more "floppy."
I really like surprise lilies. That's the common name I learned (a transplanted Hoosier, I am), and somehow I've been uncomfortable calling them Nekkid Ladies out here, but everyone else does. Gad. I'm a bit of a prude, I guess!
Some folks occasionally interplant them with Lily of the Nile (Agapanthus, also not hardy back Home, darnit) out here, and the pastel pinks and blues are kinda nice to look at, with the flower clusters somewhat alike.
Actually what I believe you have is Lycoris squamigera. This what you see most often in the bulb catalogs. Amaryllis belladonna is a much more substantial plant with larger flowers and leaves and is more difficult to find. It is also not reliably hardy in your zone, in fact, with no protection I doubt it would be hardy at all.
I'm looking forward to a picture... The Amaryllis is indeed hardy in your area and proliferates. My sister, about 30 miles south of you, has lots and it needs no maintenance. We planted them when I was a child (suffice it to say, long ago). They've never been lifted and are still blooming annually.