En EspaŅol

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.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?


Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

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

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Friday - September 21, 2012

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Plant Identification
Title: Identification of red lily-like blossom in Austin, TX
Answered by: Nan Hampton


Rain at last in Austin! The rain lilies are up, but wait, what on earth is this? Lily like, 6 petals, but a cluster of 6 stalks w/blood red blooms slightly larger than our rain lilies - Off under a fence, in under some Mexican apple trees. . .


I suspect what you found is Lycoris radiata, a native of China and Japan.   It has several common names—hurricane lily, red spider lily, surpise lily, red magic lily and more.   The last two names refer to the fact that you look up one day to find a patch of beautiful red blooms in a place you hadn't remembered seeing even a plant before.  Their lily-like leaves would have been there before the blooms but they die back before the blossoms appear and they return after the blossoms are gone.  They also come in other colors—white, pale pink, yellow and others.

Here are more photos and information from The Bulb Hunter and Botany Boy, Plant Encyclopedia.

If this isn't the plant you have seen, please take photos and then visit our Plant Identification page to find links to several plant identification forums that accept photos of plants for identification.


More Plant Identification Questions

Flowering vine with yellow flowers in Nevada
August 10, 2014 - A flowering vine started growing in our Henderson back yard about 2 months ago. It has variegated green leaves & yellow flowers. We decided not to pull it out & now it's spreading. I've looked on v...
view the full question and answer

Plant that smells like cinnamon in Milford OH
June 07, 2010 - Wanting to know what wildflower/weed would be so aromatic and smells like cinnamon? Always enjoy this wonderful smell when my husband and I ride the motorcycle, but don't know what it is. Would like ...
view the full question and answer

Differences between Lantana urticoides and Lantana camara
July 13, 2012 - I have found an orange variety of lantana growning in several location in Jefferson County. Is there any way I can tell for sure if it is L. camara or the native L. urticoides?
view the full question and answer

Sumac Leaves Turning Red
November 22, 2013 - Hi, Mr. Smarty Plants, I recently planted a flowering sumac bush. Is it normal for that plant to get fall leaf-color? About a week after planting it, the temp reached the mid-30s, and after that, I ...
view the full question and answer

Plant Identification
October 30, 2008 - Hi. I took a picture of a plant/wildflower at Reimer's Ranch near Dripping SPrings and have been unable to identify it. I searched through the plant database but am having difficulty. Can I send y...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center