Active during: Summer
Common Name: Aztec lily, Maltese cross, Jacobean lily
True bulb; deciduous; summer-growing, winter-dormant; flowers in spring and early summer.
Only one species, S. formosissima, from Mexico.
Deep scarlet blooms are carried singly on a 20cm stem. White and yellow-banded forms also occur. Flowers are single and have six narrow, perianth segments. The uppermost petal is erect and reflexed. The two ancillary upper petals are carried horizontally and spread outwards, the three lower petals are re-curved and droop downwards and outwards. Flowers measure about 10cm across.
Sprekelia make good pot plants. Plant the bulbs in spring, just below soil level with the necks protruding. The soil should be fairly rich and well drained.
Water the plants regularly during spring and summer. Winter watering will be tolerated during dormancy if drainage is good. The bulbs may be lifted in autumn and stored until spring. Offsets form readily on well-grown bulbs. You can also increase stock by basal cutting and by twin-scaling. Lily borers may attack the foliage.