amaryllis

Spectacular Sprekelia

This Sprekelia is one of my favorite plants. It’s also known as an Aztec Lily or Jacobean Lily (Sprekelia formosissima).

But it’s not really a lily at all.

Sprekelia is a small genus of only two species in the Amaryllidaceae family from Mexico. So, it’s more like an Amaryllis.

Mine are about 16 inches tall and grow very well in dappled shade with some afternoon sun. They take a normal amount of water (whatever’s normal for Central Texas!) I do water them — they are not drought tolerant.

Once they’ve bloomed in late spring, the foliage just disappears completely in the summer, like other spring bulbs.

The plant does not set seed and its flowers are sterile.

They grow slowly, though. I’d love to share, but my cluster of them hasn’t expanded much over the last 6 or 7 years that I think I’ve had them, so they aren’t ready to be divided. (Or, I’m not yet ready to divide them)

The are right outside our breakfast room window, so I get to look at them every time I eat or work at the table, and they are in front of the birdbath, so it’s a lovely sight.

I love all the plants in my garden (well, most of them). But there are a few favorites that bring special joy, and my Sprekelia are among them.

Don’t chew, I surrender!

I surrender. Sigh. After planting lots of little eye candy last week, I got up and went outside to survey Saturday morning. Lo and behold, several of my plants were strewn about the driveway and the beds. Clearly, someone, or several someones, came through for a tasting sampler and found some of them unpalatable! If they didn’t like them, I wishe they’d at least figure that out first, or put them back!

I was able to shove most of those back into their holes and water them. Unfortunately, there were also quite a few plants that were obviously tasty, because they were munched on. They ate all the blooms of Kallie’s Cyclamen, and munched on shrubs and annuals. I know the deer tolerance for most of the perennials and shrubs, but there are just too many annuals to keep track of. And, let’s face it, when I’m standing in the nursery oogling some cute new plant, I know I’m not going to rush home to look it up and come back to buy it. I want it NOW!

So after the deer had a nice salad from my beds Friday night, Saturday morning I went out with strips of laundry dryer sheets to tie around the plants I was most worried about. (They are very scent-sensitive and I’ve some success with it in the past to keep the deer out of the bird feeders.)

Mostly eaten.

Spared — and now with a dryer sheet scarf!
Munched on — sporting a lovely new scarf.

Here are a few bulbs from the experimental ones I planted last month! They are actually coming up now – I can’t believe it. I think these are daffodils or irises. I guess they will surprise me, or I can go back and search my posts.
These are two amaryllis that were eaten last year and managed to survive to grow another season. I guess I’d better chicken wire them until they’ve bloomed!
Here’s another little daffodil that sprouted up and surprised me — I thought these were hyacinths when they first peeked up!
Here is my new vegetable bed — the little one on the left. I just thought I’d squeeze one more in there.
These are the two cleaned-up beds — new garden soil inside and with weed block and thick mulch in the pathways instead of the zoysia grass that kept invading the gardens. Between that and the new metal edging, I’m hoping to keep most of the grass at bay. I swear, last summer it looked like a LAWN in my veggie gardens at one point! Cross your fingers for me.

The gate has been promised tomorrow. And it’s supposed to be 84f — unbelieveable. I’m postponing my teacher conference meeting until Tuesday when the cold front comes through and we drop to 63f 😉