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Brookgreen Gardens is Under a Hurricane (lilies) Watch

Brookgreen Gardens is Under a Hurricane (lilies) Watch

Tue, August 24, 2021 by Lucy Contreras, Assistant Manager of Plant Collections | in Botanical Gardens

Brookgreen Gardens is currently under a hurricane watch -  and your garden may be too! It has come to our attention that hurricane lilies are beginning to form in clusters around the Gardens!

Lycoris radiata flower

Currently, these clusters are isolated to the Harvest Restaurant area, but our radar indicates that you can expect to see them forming in and around the Brenda W. Rosen Carolina Terrace and the Upper Right Wing, among other garden areas, in the coming weeks.

Lycoris radiata flowers

If any hurricane has to come our way, I will gladly take that of the hurricane or spider lily (Lycoris radiata). These unique plants pop up around the Gardens towards the end of August, right as we begin to enter peak hurricane season. Due to their timely presence, they have become known as “hurricane lilies.”

Lycoris radiata flower

Fortunately for us, these unique plants are not harbingers of hurricanes to come but emerge, flower first, from the ground at this time of year. While we often think of bulbs, like daffodils and snowdrops emerging in the spring, we have some bulbs, like our hurricane lilies, that like to sleep in and greet us later in the year.

Lycoris radiata habit

Before you can expect to see its red, showy flower, you can anticipate seeing stray stems scattered about with flower buds. You will likely see a few reddish-colored, pill-shaped protrusions at the top, indicating a hurricane warning – I mean our flowers to come!

Lycoris radiata flower buds

Once the flowers are finished, they give way to strap-like leaves. It may seem odd to see the leaves after the flower, but there are many plants that flower before their leaves emerge, including some magnolias!

Lycoris radiata foliage

While I’m clearly no meteorologist (I’ll leave that to Ed Piotrowski), I feel confident in saying this is a hurricane you can enjoy rolling into town. Their season is short, so make sure you plan a visit to Brookgreen Gardens soon, so you get a chance to see them before they dissipate.

See you in the Gardens!

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1931 Brookgreen Drive

Murrells Inlet, SC 29576

Off US Highway 17 Bypass, between Murrells Inlet and Pawleys Island

on South Carolina's Hammock Coast