Swamp lilies new home

This year Nature Girl has swamp lilies in the flower bed in the back yard.

Our first summer living by the swamp, we were astonished when the swamp lilies bloomed.  Last year we were watching them and tracking their progress.  They are pretty amazing.

We saw little clumps of swamp lilies here and there in the Conservancy Woods.  We also saw them in the piney woods just west from the Conservancy.  There is a place just downstream from a bend in the river where the riverbank trail is getting undercut.

Here you can see a group of very small pine saplings that look like they will land in the river with the next storm.

Just a few yards down the trail we saw a clump of swamp lilies in a similarly undercut spot.  I called the owner of the piney woods, who graciously gave permission for us to harvest them before they are lost to the river.

You have to excavate quite a lot to harvest a swamp lily.  The bulb is very large, and the feeder roots that grow from the base are fragile.  I wish I had thought to take a picture of the bulb, but we were anxious to get them replanted quickly so as to reduce the stress on these plants.

We did not expect them to bloom this year, but here they are.

 

Not many flowers will grow in the back bed, because the ground stays too wet.   Swamp lilies will not make a popular choice for two reasons.  One is they like it wet, and the other is that they do not bloom for a very long period.  But they are so spectacular I am happy to have them.

Last year’s post about swamp lilies:

Swamp lily

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8 thoughts on “Swamp lilies new home”

  1. Breathtaking.  I’m no stranger to swamps, but I’ve never seen such a thing; reckon they don’t grow in the more northerly climes?

    I read a novel ages ago where the characters are in a garden, or maybe a field of wildflowers, and one says; “ Anyone from another world would think we must be mad with joy, to have  such things around us!”  I have no idea why I remember that: maybe the unfamiliar phrasing “mad with joy” made an impression on my puerile intellect—anyway this photo brought it to mind….

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  2. That splendid – luminous WHITE! – flower grows in Irvine, CA, facing south, abutting a black asphalt alley, cooked by direct sun,  90°F heat, and 30% relative humidity.  There is no photographing the flower without vanishing the background, even with an overcast sky.  (One must tell the HOA to go to Hell and make it stick,  or they dig it out, then top with odorous rotting wood mulch to teach a homeowner a “lesson” about the Approved List (Bermuda grass and Agapanthus.)

    [caption id="attachment_41898" align="alignnone" width="335"]Flower Peor, 2 “Desert swamp lily,” 2[/caption]

    [caption id="attachment_41897" align="alignnone" width="336"]Flower Pwoer “Desert” Swamp Lily, 1[/caption]

    Death to all Soviet of California HOAs.

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  3. Uncle Al:
    https://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/showimage/424654/#b
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hymenocallis_littoralis
    https://www.gardenia.net/plant/hymenocallis-littoralis
    … beach spider lily

    That is really interesting.  I never heard them called “beach spider lily” nor “Peruvian daffodil.”  Those are great names no doubt dreamed up by some clever nursery.

    I see them in the swamp in places where the ground is not particularly wet, so they don’t require really wet soil, but that is where we see them most, and we happen to have a flower bet that stays damp, so they made a great fit for us.

    Yours look great.  Enjoy.

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  4. Hypatia:
    Breathtaking.  I’m no stranger to swamps, but I’ve never seen such a thing; reckon they don’t grow in the more northerly climes?

    I read a novel ages ago where the characters are in a garden, or maybe a field of wildflowers, and one says; “ Anyone from another world would think we must be mad with joy, to have  such things around us!”  I have no idea why I remember that: maybe the unfamiliar phrasing “mad with joy” made an impression on my puerile intellect—anyway this photo brought it to mind….

    Dear Ms. Hypatia, I do not think these would grow for you.   I am at the boundary between Zone 7 and Zone 8 and they do well here, but they are not particularly common, and people do not plant them in suburban flower beds.  Instead what I see is “magic lily” or lycoris.   They get better marketing by the commercial nurseries.

    I just looked at a couple of garden sites, including the ones linked by Uncle Al.  They variously report that the swamp lily (or “beach lily,” or hymenocallis) grows to Zone 8 or Zone 9.  None list Zone 7 as a possibility.

    The lycoris family have species that are hardy all the way up to Zone 5.

    As far as “mad with joy,” well, that pretty much described us two years ago when we first came across swamp lilies in bloom beside the riverbank trail behind our house.  They are a true delight.

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