The most cold-hardy of the species of Lycoris available in commerce today (Zone 5), L. squamigera is often called Resurrection lily because the leaves disappear in summer with the flowering stalks seemingly rising from the dead in late summer. Thick naked flower scapes rise to 18-24” tall in August or September, each bearing 4 to 7 large, showy, funnel-shaped, lilac-rose pink flowers that are very fragrant!
A member of the Amaryllis family, in appearance it resembles Belladonna lily (Amaryllis belladonna), but its flowering habit is reminiscent of Colchicum. Strap-like grayish-green leaves to 12” long and 1” wide appear in spring and must be allowed to die back in summer.
Though native to Japan, it is easily grown here in organically rich, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun or part shade. Plant the bulbs 8-12” deep and 6” apart in fall and mulch well in winter. Resurrection Lily naturalizes by bulb-offsets. A low-maintenance beauty with no serious insect or disease problems, water sparingly during the rest period and moderately when growing. Avoid transplanting as this plant dislikes being disturbed. Use in borders or containers, or in open woodland gardens, meadows, or wild areas where the late spring foliage is not a concern.