As the common name suggests, the spider lily has long spider-shaped petals on its blossoms from mid-summer to autumn. In addition, this bulbous perennial plant has a strange habit of flowering on bare stalks with no foliage, which has earned it the names ‘surprise lily’ and ‘naked lady’.
The flower is closely related to the amaryllis plant and, like its relatives, has a showy flower. Its height ranges from 24 to 28 inches (60 to 70 cm). The bulb is 7 to 10 cm in diameter. As the bulb ages, it develops a neck 4 to 5 cm (up to 2 inches) in diameter. The vanilla-scented flowers are large, red, and sessile. Each flower tube is 5 to 7 inches (14 to 17 cm) long.