In the spring the leathery strap-like leaves appear at the same time jonquils are doing the same. However, they do not produce flowers then. The leaves then die back to the bulb. Never cut them back; the green of the leaves of both need to return to the bulb. One can bend the leaves over and secure them with a rubber band until they turn brown, just you can with jonquils.
Toward the end of July clusters of 4" long trumpet-shaped flower appear. These are pinkish-white in color. Each cluster has up to 12 blossoms supported by an 18" stalk with no leaves. These shoot up very quickly, seemingly overnight.
This action of leaves first and dying back, then later, a stalk with flowers is called hysteranthy. Try to bring this word up in a conversation.
Remove the dying, drooping flowers quick so the bulb will produce flowers the next year.
This flower has many names in various countires. Among these are: Marsh lily in South Africa; Madonna lily in Italy; and Jersey lily, Hurricane lily and Cluster amaryllis in England. Americans seem to prefer Resurrection lilies, or Naked ladies for the bare stem with no leaves and the pink flowers at the top.
This writer feels that the lycoris needs shorter flowers planted around the base so folks do not simply see a tall, bare stem with a flower perched on top.
One legend recounts that there were two elves. One guarded the leaves and the other the flowers. We can certainly believe this, right? This was to be a team effort. Conflict arose between the two elves and they separated and never saw each other again. thus the leaves appear, then, much later, the flower appears never to be seen together again. 'til sad.
Another legend says when a person sees someone that he or she may never meet again lycoris would bloom along the path. We suppose that that was in the day when people walked on paths rather than driving on macadamized highways.
The Red Lycoris radiata is an important cultural icon in Japan.