Spider Lily
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Spider lily is the most commonly used named for the large number of different species of plant of the plant family Amaryllidaceae. The various species fall under three main genera Crinum, Hymenocallis and Lycoris. Among these three generas, the most famous of the species of spider lilies are from the genera Lycoris. Spider lilies are native to the eastern and southern Asian countries Japan, China, Vietnam, Nepal and others. However, the spider lilies are now widespread worldwide due to the import from the Asian countries. Due to the beautiful flowers, they are favored in botanical gardens and public places. Spider lilies are perennial plants, which grow in warm environment but the plant does not prefer excessive heat during summer. When the heat of the sun becomes unbearable for the plant, it becomes dormant. It will then return to fruitful condition when the weather becomes cooler. Many of the species of spider Lilies are sterile and cannot reproduce sexually. They reproduce only vegetative. The plant bears both male and female sexes within a single flower and when they reproduce, the chromosomes in the nucleus manage to assort themselves randomly in no designated order. This results in the condition that there is no order of assignment to each plant. Which make the plant reproductively sterile. Due to their vegetative mode of reproduction, it is understood that they are probably of hybrid origin. Moreover, several additional known hybrids of spider lilies also occur. The only way for the spider lily plant to reproduce is by the division of the special modification of its underground stem called bulb. Spider lilies should be planted in spring. The bulbs of spider lilies should be planted about 8 inches deep into the soil. The plant sprouts and blooms and grows to be around 24 - 28 inches tall. The Lycoris radiate, a species of spider lily which is famous for its beautiful red blooming flowers should be planted in an area that has good drainage so that the bulb is not harmed. If the bulbs are to be stored until next spring then a dry environment at temperature range of 7 - 13 degree centigrade is advised. If conditions remain favorable for the multiplication of the plant, then in about five years, each mature bulb will have produced about 20 new bulbs. The stems of the spider lilies are about 18 inches tall. At the top of each stem, the flower blooms. The stem bears the scape which is erect and about 30 - 70 cm tall. The scape has a terminal umbel of four to eight flowers. The flowers are of two types depending on the species. The first type of flower has long filamentous stamens which are two to three times as long as tepals and is found in the subgenera Lycoris. The second type of flower has short stamens which are not longer then tepals and is found in subgenera Symmanthus, Traub and Moldenke. The flowers are bulbiferous and actinomorphic. The flowers grow as if they are expanding radially outwards. The flowers standing on the umbel are difficult to be individualized as all the individual flowers bloom at the same time on the top of a single stem which create an illusion that the flower is single having the diameter of about seven inches. This adds to the beauty of flower. The spider lily plants begin to sprout during late summer, mostly during the month of September and bloom immediately. The stems and the flower buds emerge out immediately reaching their height in about a week. The flowers give rise to a fruit in the form of a three valued capsule containing several back seeds The flowers come out as a surprise package since mostly the plants go unnoticed by the folks without the bloom. Since the flowers come out of stem, it is usually not predicted that flowers such big could come out of stem. The flowers appear in such a short span of time that the flowers cannot go unnoticed. During the time of blooming of flowers, the foliage is not present. Not a single leaf is present during this time. As the flower blooms fade away, the leaves appear emerging out from the tops of the bulbs of flowers. Spider lilies are characterized by the way the leaves and the flowers do not appear together at a particular time. This character of the spider lilies makes it one of the legendary flowers as many legends are directly or indirectly associated with this plant. A famous legend from the Japanese culture is such that there were two elves; Manju and Saka. Manju guarded the flower bloom of the spider lily and Saka had the job to look after the foliage leaves. Out of curiosity, they unanimously defied their own fate of guarding the plant alone and managed to meet each other. At the very first sight, they fell in love. Amaterasu, becoming restless because of the waywardness of them, separated the couple and laid a curse on them as an act of punishment that the flowers guarded by Manju could never come together with the leaves guarded by Saka again. It was said according to legends that the couple did meet each other after death in Diyu which symbolizes hell, and promised to be together again after reincarnation. However, neither of them could fulfill the promise. There are many other legends similar to this legend, which have got pessimistic ends. These legends make spider lilies a classic symbol of fall. In Japan, especially red spider lily signals the arrival of fall. Many Buddhists in Japan use the flower to commemorate the arrival of fall with a ceremony at the tomb of their ancestors. They plant the spider lilies on the graves of their ancestors which is seen as a tribute to the dead ancestors. There is a belief among the folks that red spider lily is mostly associated with death and hence presenting a bouquet of these flowers is regarded as a highly bad omen. Spider lilies are more or less economically significant but since it blooms only during particular time of a year, it hasn't gained much popularly among the masses. Spider lilies have flowers whose color can range from white, yellow, and orange to red. Some of the species of spider lilies are very attractive because of the brilliance of their colors. Red spider lilies which are famous in the united states can be planted as ornamental plants in flower gardens, borders or during mass planting as these plants produce flowers which have brilliant dazzling red color that make the flowers very attractive. They are great when they are used for naturalizing flowers and they make wonderful cut flower arrangement because of their uniform circular appearance. The flowers with their dazzling red color do well in full sun but the red color fade away slowly in full sun. To keep the bright color intact for a longer time, it is appropriate that they are grown in partial shade. The bulbs of the spider lilies are the most significant as they are the only for the vegetative propagation. The bulbs flowers the flowers in the life cycle of spider lilies. However, the bulbs of the red spider lily are very poisonous. Because they are poisonous, the plant is widely planted around to surround the paddy fields and houses in Japan. It is said that these plants keep the mice and pests away.

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