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ZEPHYRANTHES

Image of Zephyranthes

James H. Schutte

Family

Liliaceae

Botanical Name

ZEPHYRANTHES

Plant Common Name

Zephyrlily

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

Blooming profusely amid graceful tufts of grasslike foliage, the starry flowers of rain lilies seem to appear like magic following the drenching rains of summer. Tough, easy to grow and quick to multiply, these perennials are native to tropical regions of Central and South America. Their linear, sometimes flat, upright to arching leaves rise from small bulbs, multiplying to form dense clumps. Evergreen in warmer climates, the foliage may go dormant in cold winter weather or during pronounced droughts. When the soil warms in spring, many small, crocus-like, six to sometimes eight-petaled flowers with yellow to yellow-green, pollen-filled anthers appear. Emerging on thin stems, they may bloom continually throughout the summer as long as soil moisture remains consistent. Flowering may stop during periods of dry weather, but will rapidly and profusely recommence following the relief of a generous rainfall.

Plant individual bulbs at four times their depth in full to part sun and well-drained soil. Ample, consistent moisture ensures continual flowering, however these versatile plants are also tolerant of dry spells, blooming abundantly with the return of rainfall. Soil should be kept barely moist in winter, and bone dry or soggy conditions should be avoided. Where not hardy, the bulbs may be lifted and stored frost-free in pots or a cool, dry medium such as peat moss. In spring, cut back any withered foliage and divide plants if needed.

Rain lilies look lovely planted in drifts among rocks, peeking through low evergreen groundcovers, or lining garden pathways. Also exceptional in containers, their fine texture contrasts beautifully with the bold foliage of tropical plants such as cannas or elephant ears.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    3 - 9

  • Plant Type

    Bulb or Corm or Tuber

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    12"-16" / 30.5cm - 40.6cm (16)

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Yellow Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Semi-Evergreen

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Edging, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes