On the legacy bulb wiki pages Kathleen Sayce reviews bulbs that outlast their gardeners, with some hints as to why. Suggestions came from PBS list members, review of world weed lists, USDA PLANTS National Database, Flora of North America, and some university databases. For more information consult Legacy Bulbs Index and Introduction.
Information about relevant Ixia through Lycoris species can be found on this wiki page. Information about other species is found on the pages linked below:
Albuca through Amaryllis - Anemone through Chionodoxa - Colchicum through Erythronium - Freesia through Hyacinthus - Ipheion through Iris - Merendera through Nerine - Ornithogalum through Sternbergia - Trillium through Zephyranthes
Ixia, wand lily or African cornlily, is native to South Africa. Species and hybrids of this genus naturalize quickly in Mediterranean climates. Three species are known to have naturalized in California; WHZ 8-11.
Ixia hybrids often naturalize in Northern California.
Kniphofia uvaria, red hot poker, summer flowering, grows widely on the West Coast of North America, and has naturalized in northern California. It is a common plant of older seaside homes from Washington south into California; WHZ 6-10.
Leucojum aestivum, summer snowflake (but blooming in winter or spring), WHZ 4-9, grows naturally in damp sites, including woodlands, riversides and swamps from England to the Middle East. ‘Gravetye Giant’ is a widely grown cultivar. In North America, this species has naturalized in many eastern states and provinces, from Nova Scotia to Illinois, Missouri, to South Carolina and Louisiana. On the West Coast it is known to have naturalized in Oregon and California. Other states and provinces are to be expected.
Leucojum vernum, spring snowflake, is native to Eastern Europe and western Russia, and has naturalized in north Florida. PBS members have reported it from Georgia. Other countries with legacy populations include Japan, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Holland and British Isles, WHZ 3-9.
Lilium is a large genus of highly desirable garden bulbs, grown for millennia, and very hardy, provided bulbs do not dry out during hot weather. Terrestrial mollusks and viral diseases limit persistence in many locations. While the following summarizes North American populations, expect similar patterns in other temperate growing areas, including Europe, Australia, New Zealand, China and Japan. Like other geophytes, expect to find persistent populations outside currently known locations and species.
Lilium bulbiferum, orange lily, is native to Europe. It produces bulbils in leaf axils; WHZ 7-9. Naturalized populations are known from Eastern Canada and Utah. This lily may persist in much of North America and temperate climates around the world. A PBS member from SE France mentioned it as a carefree plant.
Lilium candidum, Madonna lily, is native to the Balkans and West Asia. It has been cultivated for many years, and can be grown in most zones. A naturalized population is known from Pennsylvania; WHZ 6-9.
Lilium lancifolium, tiger lily, is native to northern and eastern Asia, and has naturalized in much of the Midwest and Eastern North America, from Nova Scotia to Montana, and south to Louisiana. Several PBS members commented on this species in Illinois; WHZ 3-9.
Lilium longiflorum, November or Easter lily, is native to Japan and the Ryukyu Islands, and has naturalized in Florida, Alabama, and Utah. It was cultivated in Bermuda for the bulb trade, leading to a common name of Bermuda lily. They have also been cultivated in California and Oregon; WHZ 7-9.
Lilium martagon, Martagon or Turk’s cap lily, is native to central Europe through northern Asia to Mongolia and Korea, and has naturalized in Quebec. It is widely grown in cool winter areas of North America. It may be slow to establish, but is very long lived and can form large clumps; WHZ 3-10.
Lilium regale, regal lily, has naturalized in Mississippi. A PBS member from SE France mentioned it as a carefree plant. WHZ 3-8, native to western Szechuan, China, the bulbs are hardy, but early shoots may be damaged by frost.
Lycoris radiata, red spider lily, native to China and Japan, has naturalized from Louisiana, Georgia and north Florida, north to Illinois and Virginia; WHZ 7-9, with warm summers and cool winters. This species tolerates some drought, and flowers in early fall. Several PBS members mentioned seeing persistent populations in the southeast.
Lycoris squamigera, surprise lily, is from Japan or China, and may be a hybrid between L. straminea and L. incarnata. It has naturalized in Tennessee and Ohio, and grows in WHZ 5-11. This is robust garden favorite, long-lived and carefree.
Species listed on other legacy bulb pages can be found alphabetically by clicking on the links below or by going to the index and introduction page where they will be listed in a table.
Albuca through Amaryllis - Anemone through Chionodoxa - Colchicum through Erythronium - Freesia through Hyacinthus - Ipheion through Iris - Merendera through Nerine - Ornithogalum through Sternbergia - Trillium through Zephyranthes - Legacy Bulbs Index and Introduction