One of the events I look forward to at the end of every winter is the appearance of the lilies (and the orchids, but that’s another story). This year, 24 August marks the appearance of the first lily bloom at our place, an Early Nancy (Wurmbea dioica). Early Nancy is a perennial herb that grows from a tuber. The flowers are white with an inner magenta ring. The male and female parts exist on different plants. Later in the season the female plant will appear, producing its three purple seed-bearing fruit (pictured below).
The common name refers to Early Nancy’s being one of the first blooms in spring. The scientific name, Wurmbea diocia, is derived from a German botanist with the grand name of Christoph Carl Friedrich von Wurmb. The Greek word dioica, meaning ‘two houses’, indicates the male and female reproductive organs are on separate plants.