On New York runways this fall, the trendy color is oxblood. You will see leather jackets, wool pants, purses, and boots drenched in oxblood. Last spring the color was tangerine tango, next year it might be beechnut green.
Not to be out done by the fashion world, Texans have been enjoying Oxblood Lilies (Rhodophiala bifida) for over 150 years. Think back in Texas history to the 1840’s when German settlers immigrated to Central Texas for the early cultivation of this bulb. Like these settlers, Oxblood Lilies are tough and tenacious and thrive all over the Central Texas area on old farms and abandoned homesteads.
Unlike fashion dictates for 2012, the oxblood lily will endure for generations and mulitply. Plant them in part shade or full sun. The red blooms are short lived but will last a little longer with afternoon shade. They bloom in early September following rain and are also known as School House Lilies. After the flower dies; thin, deep green leaves will continue until early summer.
For a small investment, your garden can enjoy the bright hues of the Oxblood Lily. Plant them in the fall through December 1. Next year what people are wearing will change but your garden will always be in style.