Variation in isozyme patterns from ten populations of the Korean endemic Lycoris species was used to test the hypothesis that L. flavescens originated from natural hybridization between diploid L. chinensis and L. sanguinea var. koreana. Lycoris sanguinea var. koreana shows fixed heterozygosity at four of nine loci assayed, suggesting that this species is an allotetraploid instead of a diploid. Electrophoretic data suggest that Lycoris flavescens is an allotriploid species derived from the hybridization between diploid L. chinensis and tetraploid L. sanguinea var. koreana. The patterns of allelic distribution in populations of L. flavescens suggest multiple origins of the allotriploid. Within the L. flavescens complex, our isozyme data support the recognition of two taxa, L. flavescens and a recently recognized species, L. uydoensis.