Amaryllis belladonna , Madonna Lily, Jersey Lily, Amaryllis rosea, Brunsvigia rosea,, garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest

Back From the Dead

We were away camping for most of August + early September. The garden had to survive through the dry heat all by itself.

Amaryllis belladonna , Madonna Lily, Jersey Lily, Amaryllis rosea, Brunsvigia rosea,, garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Imagine my delight returning to a cloud of pink blooms hovering above the parched bed beside the front gate…

Granted, it’s only one stalk – – but what a cluster of flowers!  AND the deer hadn’t feasted on it as they had the surrounding daylily & crocosmia blooms–Bonus 🙂

To be honest, I’m shocked to see this resurrection.  For the past 10 years, I’ve resigned myself to being a Crinum killer.

Amaryllis belladonna , Madonna Lily, Jersey Lily, Amaryllis rosea, Brunsvigia rosea,, garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

The original bulb, a giant, came to me via a garden club plant sale.  It was labelled Crinum × powellii (aka Swamp Lily or Cape Lily).
Now I’m thinking it might be Amaryllis belladonna (aka Madonna Lily or Jersey Lily).

I planted it, thrilled at the first year’s blossom, then searched for signs of life the following year…
None…
Nothing the next year either…
After that, I just stopped searching.

Perhaps a hard winter froze the bulb…  (Crinum is zone 7: A.belladonna is zone 4.)
Perhaps too much drought shrivelled the bulb … (Crinum likes moist summers; A.belladonna prefers dry.)
Perhaps it had been crowded out by the crocosmia…  (Both Crinum & A. belladonna, like nerine lilies, prefer their necks exposed to sunshine… last winter I’d removed excess crocosmia)

Amaryllis belladonna , Madonna Lily, Jersey Lily, Amaryllis rosea, Brunsvigia rosea,, garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

There are so many ways to fail in the garden.  I resigned myself to losing another gem.

Now I’m thinking, it might have simply been a miscommunication in labelling.  Both Crinum & A. belladonna have similar tendencies (pink clusters of bloom… bloom time… toxicity… origins in South Africa… ),
But there are some significant differences, too (A.belladonna leaves die off before it blooms).

Either way, I’m grateful for whichever bulb I have.  It’s one tough cookie.  It patiently waited years until the conditions were just right!!

-30-

Here are some other pink autumn bloomers:

 

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