The Spider Lily That Went Rogue

I’ve bulbed for 26 years. That’s a long time. But in my 26 years of bulbing, I’ve never seen a Spider Lily bulb quite like the one I found yesterday. This old bulb has gone completely rogue in it’s growing habits. I’ve researched, and can’t find any reason for the odd behavior. Perhaps this little blog will find someone out there with other rogue lilies…..and we can all chat about the “who, what, when ,where, why and how” of these mysterious bulbs.

These particular Spider Lily bulbs I got in East Texas. I was visiting my In law’s little town… favorite place for bulbing. For some reason, their town once was once a booming, blue-collar town in the 1900’s, only to be filled with true abandoned homes in the older district (not historic, just old). The town had a lot of poverty and people seemed to enjoy the art of passalong plants, which is why there are so many Oxblood Lilies, Spider Lilies and Crinum. I found a house in a very impoverished part of town, and asked a neighbor about the lilies.

“That old place? The owner doesn’t care at all about it. Take what you want.”

So I did.

I took a few clumps of Spider Lilies, and soon realized, this was the gold mine of Spiders. There were about 25 large clumps….large, old bulbs squished together in clumps full of 50-80 bulbs. The bulbs were the largest Spiders I had ever seen. But there was an odd growth factor….bulbs were growing on top of bulbs.

Literally. Bulbs were literally coming out the top of the parent bulb, from an enormous “root” type of arm. Completely strange. I just thought it was due to the squished conditions.

I went home and separated the bulbs and replanted them. I gave them a nice, sunny spot in the front of the Agape Haus Music Sudio (where all my bulbs now reside after the flood destroyed our home). Yesterday, while I was watering the Zinnias, I noticed two bulbs sticking out of the ground… I pulled them up. The bulb looked like a Micky Mouse  set of ears on top of an enormous bulb.

“What the???”

I just don’t get it. Plenty of room. Sandy conditions. Lots of love. And still, the bulbs grow on top of the parent bulb. I have no answers….but lots of questions.

Is it an old variety? I had heard of the old world Spiders growing differently.

Is it too hot?

How does it bloom with baby bulbs growing out of the top?

I’m truly fascinated. If any of you have experienced this kind of odd growing habits in your Spider Lilies, please email me . I’d love to hear your thoughts! 🙂

So today, I will be hunting more top-heavy, baby growing, Spider Lily bulbs. I also plan on harvesting some Lavender…..and maybe dig up a few more goodies from the Flooded House Garden.

Happy Gardening, my friends! May your flowers fill you with intrigue, and may the natural world always keep us questioning and learning.