Lycoris – perennial plant of the Amaryllis family with unusual inflorescences resembling spider legs. The genus includes about 20 species distributed in South and East Asia. A flower with an exotic appearance has gained great popularity in ornamental gardening. It is also used as a pot culture for decorating rooms.
On the peduncle, up to 7 buds with stamens develop, the length of which is many times greater than the length of the perianth, and in some species they rise above the petals, curving into an arc. The color of the flowers can be piercing pink, red, purple, orange, yellow. Flowering begins in September, continues for 15 – 20 days.
The fruit is a three-channel box with seeds.
In horticultural culture, a limited number of species of this plant are represented. The most popular of them are described below.
Lycoris aurea. Bush 60 cm high with straight thin unbranched stems. The leaf plates are arrow-shaped, deep green, up to 20 cm long. The flowers are lemon yellow, up to 10 cm in diameter. The composition of the inflorescence includes 4 – 6 buds.
Lycoris squamigera. This species grows up to 70 cm. The leaf plates are broadly linear, pointed at the top, rich green. Funnel-shaped flowers with long stamens. They have a lilac color. The central part of the buds is yellow. This species reproduces with the help of bulbs.
Lycoris squamigera. A perennial variety, in which buds first appear, then, after flowering, leaf plates. The bush grows up to 70 cm in height, grows up to 20 cm in diameter. The flowers are irregularly shaped, with recurved stamens and wavy thin petals. The color of the buds is coral.
Lycoris sanguinea. A compact plant growing up to half a meter in height. It has narrow linear leaf blades that develop in April and remain on the plant until the onset of summer. In August, buds of a bright red hue, 10 cm in diameter, bloom. This species has an exotic appearance.
These photos illustrate the description of lucoris flowers of various types:
This culture is propagated with the help of bulbs, on which a large number of children develop annually. Children are separated from the bulbs and planted on the site.
The seed method of propagation in the cultivation of lycoris is rarely practiced, since the seeds of most species do not germinate. To get the seed, wait for the maturation of the box and remove the seeds.
Bulbs are planted on the site a month before the onset of frost. Then the planting material will successfully take root in a new place and form a root system. It is possible to plant lycoris bulbs in the spring, but there is a high probability that they will not take root, or weak plants prone to frequent diseases will grow from them.
This flower is quite capricious, so only experienced gardeners are engaged in its cultivation. When choosing a site, it is worth giving preference to places in partial shade, closed from gusts of wind and drafts. You can plant it under the crowns of garden trees.
Before growing lucoris, it is necessary to dig up the site, break stones, add peat and sand. Also, humus will not be superfluous, to which this culture responds very beneficially.
The landing site must be well leveled. For planting material, small holes are made with a depth of 15 cm. This depth allows the bulbs to successfully overwinter. Sand is laid at the bottom of the hole, then the bulb itself is placed, sprinkled with a layer of earth, tamped, watered.
Despite the exotic origin and the very extraordinary appearance of the plant, if desired, anyone can grow it. It is enough to follow a number of standard rules, which should consist in properly adjusted watering, timely top dressing, preparation for the winter period and other procedures.
- Watering. This culture needs abundant watering only during the active growth of foliage and the formation of peduncles. During this period, when growing onionis, it is necessary to monitor the moisture content of the substrate, preventing it from drying out. The soil around the plant must be constantly moist. The rest of the time it is enough to water the flower once a week. After it fades, water procedures are stopped.
- Top dressing. Whether lycoris need fertilizer or not, the gardener determines by the appearance of the bush. So, if the exotic is actively developing, blooming, looks bright and attractive, this indicates that it has enough nutrients. If the bush develops slowly, forms buds poorly and looks oppressed, then you need to enrich the soil with a mineral composition for bulbous crops.
- Transfer. Licorice is able to successfully grow in one place for 4 to 5 years. When transplanting, the bush is dug up, the bulbs are carefully separated from it, the fracture sites are treated with wood ash. After that, the bulbs are placed on the plot prepared for them in the garden. With good care, flowering of lucoris will occur 1 to 2 years after planting. It should be borne in mind that all parts of this culture are poisonous, so work with it should only be done with gloves.
- Wintering. Since lycoris bulbs successfully tolerate frosts, they do not need to be dug up before the onset of cold weather. If there are little snowy winters in the regions, it is recommended to cover the landing site with spruce branches.
- Growing problems. An exotic culture has strong immunity and is rarely affected by diseases and pests if the gardener properly cares for it. If you are zealous with watering, the bulb may rot, which will lead to the death of the bush. With a lack of light, the leaf plates wither and fade.
- Pests. Among the insect pests that attack the flower, the narcissus fly is isolated. As a result of exposure to a pest, the flower quickly fades. Having found an insect, you need to immediately treat the plant with an insecticide.
Application in the garden
Licorice is grown in household plots, bred in parks. This culture, due to unusual inflorescences, is often grown on balconies and loggias. It is used to create all kinds of flower arrangements. Thanks to the spectacular appearance of the flower, it always becomes a bright accent of flower beds and flower beds.
The culture looks great against the background of tall plants, and is also an expressive background for low flowers. Where lycoris grow, irises, tulips, anemones, ferns, crocuses, hyacinths, begonias and other plants requiring similar care are often planted.
Licorice has also found application in folk medicine. Infusions and decoctions with it have proven effective for coughs and colds. However, due to the poisonousness of the flower, it must be used with great care.