Focused on Mississippi: Spider Lilies

Focused on Mississippi

VICKSBURG, Miss. (WJTV) – There is a sure sign that fall is on the way with the blooming of the spider lilies in Mississippi. The earliest ones I’ve ever seen came about mid-August, blooming along the path to the cemetery at Longwood in Natchez.

The ones in my yard don’t pop up until later in September. Between mowings, they spring up full grown. They are the surprise sign of fall.

Some years I have the presence of mind to start watching for them. But years like this one with so many other distractions, I’d forgotten about them. I didn’t even think of them when I saw the golden rod blooming the other day. That’s another flower that’s a sign of fall.

But back to spider lilies, some will argue this is a pop up lily. My mama called them spider lilies, so that’s what we call them. I guess that’s where most people get their common names for flowers, from what their mamas called them. I discovered they aren’t always red. I saw yellow ones in a yard at Lake Washington south of Greenville. 

They are very hardy and prolific. You’ll see them on ditch banks or out in the woods or in empty lots. No doubt they ran away from a tame bed planted nearby at one time or another. Sometimes they are the only reminder that people used to live on that spot.

But wherever you see them, they are the first sign that fall is on its way. And there’s a change coming.

To me, it’s cooler weather, anticipation of the holidays and the New Year. Hopefully, a good change. And if it’s not, they’ll always bloom again next year and maybe signal something better by then. 

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