Oxblood Lilies (School Yard Lilies)

Oxblood Lilies – Rhodophiala bifida

Description

 

My first love.
These bulbs are truly the reason I am a bulb hunter. Oxblood Lillies traveled to Texas with German immigrants during the 1800’s. I first saw the ‘blood red’ lily at my Inlaws’ house after moving from California.  I had never seen anything like it.
Oxblood Lillies have many common names by locals,  though ‘School house lily’  describes them best. Oxblood Lillies usually bloom after the first rainfall after the long hot summer, which coincides with the beginning of the school year for children.
Oxblood Lillies are tough. These bulbs have been found on old ranch homesteads, open fields where  farm houses used to reside, and many odd places you wouldn’t think a flower could survive…..yet they do. Oxblood Lillies will have one bloom a year, as many bulbs do. The wait is worth it. Plant your bulb, sun or dappled shade, and water while growing.  When your lily ‘sleeps’, don’t cut the foliage until completely brown, and don’t water. Then just let nature take it’s course.
Some Oxbloods and Spider Liliies have been known to ‘sulk’ (not bloom) the first year after being moved.  Just be patient.  Beautiful gardens don’t happen in a day.

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