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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Monday - March 02, 2009

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Moving School House lilies in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I live here in Austin in zipcode 78729. I have a clump of School House lilies in the back of the garden. I would like to move them to another bed under a tree. Is this a good time to move them? Should I put bone meal on them when I do move them?

ANSWER:

Rhodophiala bifida is a native of Uruguay and Argentina and thus does not appear in our Native Plant Database. It is, however, an heirloom plant in Texas, brought here by German settlers. We learned it is referred to as a "Schoolhouse Lily" or "Hurricane Lily" because it begins to bloom in early Fall, hurricane and school season. Another common name for it is Oxblood Lily, because of the very deep red of the blooms. According to the sources we found, Zanthan Gardens Rhodophiala bifida seeds and Pacific Bulb Society Rhodophiala, the ideal time for planting is September 1 to November 15, and it does best in partial shade to full sun. It blooms around September, followed by long blade-like foliage which remains green all winter. Apparently, the Oxblood Lily is not particular about soils, and we never saw any mention of placing bonemeal in the hole with the bulb. 

 

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