by Merilyn Cranford, Somervell County Master Gardener
If you’re a warm weather gardener you’ve probably heard of belladonna lily or “naked ladies”. It’s certainly a name that one tends to remember. And the blossoms are pretty unforgettable, too. These South African ladies are happiest in hot, dry locations so they are custom made for the southwest and other warm places where conditions can be controlled. Belladonna lilies come into their full glory in the late summer, a time when many other flowers have passed their prime for the year.
This plant produces green leafy growth in the spring and dies back by midsummer. In late summer, leafless stems produce elegant pink to red flowers. They are deer resistant and grow well in containers or rock gardens. Preferring well-drained locations, the bulbs are easily planted and provide effortless spring color. They multiply without fertilizer, but best of all Naked Ladies are drought tolerant.
So, plant some this fall and they will delight you with big, aromatic blossoms for years to come.