Lilies that Surprise Me

I have no idea why they call these lilies pictured here 'candy lilies'. The botanical name is Pardancanda x norrisii, so it is some kind of hybrid, but they come up from seed in my garden year after year. (Hybrids don't generally come true from seed.)

In fact, I started mine from seed I purchased several seasons ago in 1999. The foliage is like an iris, and the plants, for the most part, take up very little room and are tall enough to hold their flowers up over other nearby plants.

You won't see them from across the garden and be drawn over to see what they are because the flowers aren't all that big. But close up, you will find them interesting. As the flowers fade, they actually twist into a tight spiral. You can see that on the pictures above, especially in the upper left corner of the picture on the right, and in the lower part of the picture on the left.

I tend to forget I have these candy lilies until I see them blooming around this time of year.

The other lily that's always a nice surprise right now is the Resurrection Lily, Lycoris squamigera. Some people call these Naked Ladies, others call them Surprise Lily. The foliage comes up in the spring and then dies back about the same time as daffodils. Then in mid-summer, a flower stalk comes shooting up with no other visible plant around it and produces lovely pink lilies in mid-summer.

Why do some people call them Naked Lilies? Because they have no leaves when they bloom, so it is just the naked stem and the flowers. Why do some people call them Surprise Lilies? Because they are always a nice surprise after the foliage dies back. Why do some people call them Resurrection Lilies? Because you think they are dead once the foliage dies back in the spring, but they come back to life mid-summer with their flowers. Here's a picture of mine which is now blooming:

I got mine as a passalong plant. My sister and I visited a friend of hers who needed some help to better understand what she had in her yard and what to do with some of her plants. I was happy to go because it was an older house and yard, so I figured there might be some interesting plants or maybe some old varieties of plants that I could get starts of. So after explaining to her what she had in her yard and what to do with it all, I dug up some of these resurrection lilies.

And, I also dug up some Aegopodium podograria 'Variegatum', Bishop's Goutweed. BIG mistake on my part, I got sucked in by the variegated leaves (again!). I knew better, I knew better, I KNEW better! For crying out loud, the common name includes the word "weed". And, I let my sister take some for her gardens. She was none too happy the next year when it took off and nearly covered one entire flower bed. This is now on my list of plants to eradicate from my own garden!

But I do still like the lovely pink resurrection lilies.


  1. They are beautiful plants.The Resurrection lilly is brilliant.Candy lillies look nice enough to eat.We all learn by our mistakes, although some take several attempts to dig out!!

  2. Hi Carol,

    Although I never grew the Pardancanda lilies, I used to have a nice little patch of Blackberry lilies/Belamcanda chinensis. Maybe that's one of the parent plants used in the hybridizing? Mine were dark orange, and the black berries were very decorative.


  3. Good eye, Annie. Blackberry Lily is one of the parent!

  4. I hate Aegopodium with a perfect hatred.
    Good luck on getting rid of it.

    I suppose it does have a use- if you don't garden and just want something under the hedges, but having once battled it I now hate it so much I would never even consider it. There are so many better choices of worthy plants. Noble plants, plants that consider others.... like hostas.


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