Summer’s grip has loosened, the days are shorter and soon the red spider lily will bloom, heralding the arrival of autumn. Chances are, you’ve never seen this peculiar flower. In Tokyo you might spot a few, but the best place in Japan to see them is growing en masse at Manjushage Park in Hidaka City, Saitama Prefecture. For two weeks a year, this riverside plain transforms into an enchanted forest, carpeted by 500,000 flaming red spider lilies!
The red spider lilies of Kinchakuda were discovered growing wild on fields left fallow during a land dispute. It’s thought the meandering Koma River washed the bulbs onto the riverbanks.
It is believed that the river carried the bulbs to where they grow today, during a period when a local land dispute had left the area to fall fallow and become overgrown.
The fame of the site grew and in 2017, Emperor Emeritus Akihito and Empress consort Michiko paid Kinchakuda a much-feted visit. And no wonder—the effect of these tall, red flowers blooming to the horizon is glorious! The absence of leaves intensifies the deep scarlet and you wander along Manjushage Park feeling like a royal, on your own magical red carpet.
What’s in a Name?
The red spider lily (lycoris radiata) has a myriad of common names. …continue reading