What: Nerine bowdenii may resemble a lily, but it is actually a member of the amaryllis family. The bright pink color brings a tropical touch to the garden, when most of our plants are in stages of reds, oranges and yellows.
A native of South Africa, it sends up its leafless, erect stems in early summer, producing its stunning pink flowers in the autumn. The bloom period runs from September through November in our area, so pair them with some lavender or purple asters, dahlias or against evergreen shrubs.
Since they hate to be disturbed, plant them where you desire to keep them long term as dividing or transplanting can set the bloom cycle back one year. Fall is the perfect time to buy nerine bulbs and get them planted by early winter in a hole amended with compost. A grouping of five or six will make a very impressive display, and provide enough flowers for indoor bouquets.
Sun/Shade: Nerines need full sun; a south-facing wall would be ideal.
See it: In the Washington Statet University Snohomish County Master Gardener Demonstration Garden at the Evergreen Arboretum & Gardens, 145 Alverson Blvd., Everett.