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!
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.
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.”
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.
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!
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!
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!