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Sprekelia formosissima, photo courtesy of Joshua McCullough/PhytoPhoto
Sprekelia formosissima, photo courtesy of Joshua McCullough/PhytoPhoto

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Zone
Zones 9, 12-24
Full Sun
Full
Regular Water
Moderate

Sprekelia formosissima

Jacobean Lily, Aztec Lily
Amaryllidaceae
Bulbs and bulblike plants, Perennials, Flowers

Mexican native often sold asAmaryllis formosissima. Foliagelooks like that of daffodil (Narcissus),but each 1-ft.-high stemis topped with a dark red, 6-in.-wide bloom resembling anorchid, with three erect uppersegments and three droopinglower ones that are united attheir bases (near the flower’scenter) to form a tube. Bloomcomes primarily in earlysummer.

Where bulbs are hardy, plantthem in fall, setting them 3–4 in. deep and 8 in. apart ingood, well-drained soil. Lookmost effective in groups. Displayincreases if plants are leftundisturbed for several years.Where winters are cold, set outbulbs in spring; lift plants in fallwhen foliage yellows and storein a cool, dark, dry place overwinter (leave dry tops on). Orgrow in pots like amaryllis (Hippeastrum);repot every 3 to4 years. In mild climates, foliagemay be evergreen and plantmay blossom several timesa year if you can give it a dryperiod after flowering, thenresume regular watering to triggera new growth cycle.

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