A gorgeous flower with many identities: Belladonna Lily, Naked Ladies, or Belladonna Amaryllis, this plant produces green, leafy growth that emerges in spring and dies back by mid summer. In late summer, leafless stems produce elegant, pink flowers. Belladonna Lilies are hardy in zones 7 - 11 and are considered annuals in all other zones. (Amaryllis belladonna)
This unique lily is a favorite of many gardeners. Its bulb and sap are somewhat poisonous, so don't taste them. It's hardy only from Zone 8 south, so has to be lifted and saved like a dahlia in colder climates. But believe me, it's worth the trouble. In spring, amaryllis-like leaves appear and die down. Then in mid to late summer, several thin but strong stems arise, each with a cluster of buds. In no time, you have a big bouquet of 4' pink lilies in full bloom. They're 'Naked Ladies' since they bloom on leafless stalks. But that brings us to their unique usefulness. You know how your garden looks in mid and late summer. Most of the big glamour is gone, and everything is looking tired and hot. Well, beautiful Belladonnas love just that situation--hot dry weather--and they bloom to liven the late season show. Their leafless stems, and the fact that they're perfectly happy in partial shade, make them great for planting among hostas, daylilies, violets, hardy geraniums or anything else that has nice foliage all summer long. They'll just bloom up through the ground-covering foliage, and everyone will think you're a master gardener. About the Belladonna Lily and its names. This plant is an interesting one. First of all, it’s real name is Amaryllis belladonna, and it’s the only species in the amaryllis genus. This means the Belladonna is the 'true' Amaryllis. All those big indoor-blooming things at holiday time are called 'Amaryllis' as a common name, but their botanical name is Hippeastrum. And there's more. The Belladonna is a wildflower in South Africa, but it's also associated with the Isle of Jersey in the English Channel Islands. The Belladonna Lily is often called The Jersey Lily because of a famous painting of the very famous and beautiful English actress, Lily Langtry, holding the flower. The artist titled the painting 'A Jersey Lily' referring to Miss Langtry who was from the island. She and this painting became so famous, the name for the flower just 'stuck.' So in England, the Belladonna is often known as the 'Jersey Lily'. And if you enjoy botanical confusion, there's even more. This plant is called 'Naked Ladies' for an obvious reason--the summer flowers are leafless on 'naked' stems. Well, several other plants have the same blooming habit, (Example: Lycoris) and have been given the same nickname, 'Naked Ladies' or 'Naked Lady.' Isn't gardening fun?
AM019543 AM002266 (Bag of 1) AM019501 (Bag of 10)
Belladonna Lily, Naked Ladies
Award of Garden Merit 2002
Wide green blades die back before flowers appear.
Mid to late summer
1-3 bulbs per sq. ft. or 8-12" apart
Plant 4" deep.
Average Soil, Loamy Soil, Sandy Soil, Well-Drained Soil
Deer Resistant, Easy To Grow, Good For Cut Flowers, Fragrant Flower / Foliage, Good For Containers, Good Rockgarden Or Alpine Plant
Delightful fruity heady fragrance. Perennial in zones 7-10. Annual in zones 3-6.
3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
Bulb, Rhizome, Tuber
Poisonous or Toxic to Animals
All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested. Toxic to dogs and cats.
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