Naked Ladies

 Surprise lilies, also called naked ladies, make lovely cut flowers.

Surprise lilies, also called naked ladies, make lovely cut flowers.

Naked Ladies

When I started doing a live Rolla radio interview a few years back, I would take fresh flowers in from my garden.

Both radio personalities Lee Buhr and Bob McKune seemed to enjoy the flowers, and it was a fun way to relate to radio listeners. For the following days after the interview, people would approach me with their stories about a particular flower or on-air discussion.

One year, I had to step away for a few minutes before the interview so I snuck the flowers into the studio.

It was a vase of surprise lilies, also called resurrection lilies or magic lilies.

 Surprise lilies get their nickname from their habit of blooming on naked stalks.

Surprise lilies get their nickname from their habit of blooming on naked stalks.

A cousin to the popular Amaryllis bulbs available around Christmas, surprise lilies leaf out in spring, then die back until mid-July, when one green stalk makes its way out of the ground and soft pink blooms appear on the top for several days.

One surprise lily can fill a room with its sweet fragrance.

As cut flowers, surprise lily stalks have an interesting habit of curling up at the bottom, giving them a very modern look in a clear glass vase.

Perennial bulbs originally from the East - either Japan or China, surprise lilies are found on old farmsteads in Missouri, almost as popular as daffodils and day lilies.

When I got back to the radio station, I was told the phones were ringing off the hook.

Thinking it was due to some discussion Lee and Bob were having, I thought nothing of it when Bob motioned me to enter the studio.

We had a nice discussion about surprise lilies and what else was growing in my garden, a few words about an upcoming event and I was through.

As I was getting back to my office, someone asked if I had heard what Bob had said as my introduction to the interview.

"Bob said coming up next, naked ladies in the studio."

That's another name for surprise lilies, but to this day there are some people who bring it up as if they need confirmation impish Bob wasn't talking about me!

Charlotte