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Sprekelia formosissima

Pronunciation: Sprek-el-ee-uh for-mo-sis-ee-muh
Family: Amaryllidaceae (amaryllis fami
Common Name: Aztec lily, jacobean lily, st. Jame's lily, orchid lily
Plant Type:
  • bulb, tuber, corm
Height to: 18"
Width to: 9"
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • 20 to 10ºF ZONE 8
  • 30 to 20ºF ZONE 9
  • 40 to 30ºF ZONE 10
  • 50 to 40ºF ZONE 11
Sun Exposure:
  • full sun
Bloom Season:
  • early spring
Bloom Description: The leaves grow to about 20 in (50 cm) long and come out in spring about the same time as the flower. The flower is about 5 in (13 cm) across and brilliant scarlet or crimson. The flowers are bilaterally symmetrical, like an orchid: they have a broad, erect upper tepal, 2 narrow lateral tepals, and three narrow partly fused hanging tepals. The flower stands on its scape about 12 in (30 cm) above ground, and the bulb itself is about 2 in (5 cm) in diameter. Named cultivars include a white flowered lily, one whose red tepals are edged in white and one that has a golden strip down the center of t
Soil Type: Prefer slightly acidic soil, humus rich
Plant Perks:
  • Drought Tolerant
Propagation: Little offset bulblets can be separated and replanted in autumn. Plant the bulbs so that the top (neck and shoulders) are just above ground level.
Native to: Mexico and guatemala, characteristically on rocky hillsides
Notes for Identification: Source: floridata - aztec lily is like other members of the amaryllis family: it is a bulb that produces a rosette of strap shaped leaves and a single, showy flower with six tepals. The leaves grow to about 20 in (50 cm) long and come out in spring about the same time as the flower. The flower is about 5 in (13 cm) across and brilliant scarlet or crimson. The flowers are bilaterally symmetrical, like an orchid: they have a broad, erect upper tepal, 2 narrow lateral tepals, and three narrow partly fused hanging tepals. The flower stands on its scape about 12 in (30 cm) above ground, and the bulb itself is about 2 in (5 cm) in diameter. Named cultivars include a white flowered lily, one whose red tepals are edged in white and one that has a golden strip down the center of the upper tepal. They like plenty of water when putting out new leaves and when blooming, but they like it dry when dormant.
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