Evening Rain Lily Zephyranthes drummondii is
native from New Mexico to Mississippi and as far
north as Kansas. These are growing at the National
Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas.
Hermine came in and was a tropical storm by the time it
reached Savannah and while it left a wake of plant
destruction it also magically brought us blooms by the
dozens. The storm hit on Friday; on Tuesday morning when
we returned after the Labor Day holiday we were welcomed
by rain lilies.
the day of Hermine’s arrival the rain lilies in our
White Garden, Zephyranthes candida, were just clumps of
green foliage. This Amaryllis relative from South
American countries like Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay
are now boasting dozens of flowers which will be just
perfect for this weekend’s wedding.
by there are some clumps of yellow rain lily
Zephyranthes citrina. It too was simply foliage and now
five days later as I write this they look like small
golden lanterns. This rain lily is native to the state
of Yucatan in Mexico but both species are recommended
for zones 7-10. But they aren’t the only ones showing
a little magic after Hermine’s deluge.
away in our Cottage Garden and offering a beautiful
surprise is the Pink Fairy rain lily known botanically
as Habranthus robustus. It is also known as Brazilian
Copperlily. Theses flowers are much larger holding their
blooms at an angle as if they are looking at you, but
instead, it’s your eyes that have become fixated on
them scoping out their rare beauty.
bloom of the rain lily is always a shocking surprise. It
makes you stand and stare in amazement; how can it be so
well timed after a rain? But as amazing as these are it
was the evening rain lily Zephyranthes Cooperia
drummondii that first stunned me while I was Director of
the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas. This
species of rain lily is native from New Mexico to
Mississippi and as far north as Oklahoma and Kansas.
this section of the garden, supplemental irrigation was
practically non-existent and the plants that grew there
were among the toughest imaginable. In one bed was a
sprawling patch of birdwing Passiflora, Passiflora
tenuiloba. This rugged diminutive vine with small nickel
sized blooms brings in butterflies for both nectar and
larval host. But to our surprise after a rare storm,
glistening white native rain lilies, popped up through
the passion vine and in other areas, too.
matter where you live you too can grow rain lilies. If
you live in a colder region, dig them up in the fall for
winter storage. In the spring plant your bulbs 2-3
inches deep and 3-4 inches apart to let you develop a
nice stand or patch. If you live in zones 7-10, fall is
the best time to plant. They bloom best in full sun to
partial shade in a fertile well-drained organic-rich
bed. The native species Z. drummondii grown at the
National Butterfly Center in South Texas had good
drainage but the soil was anything but luxuriant.
means ‘flower of the west wind’, if you grow them
and incorporate them into your landscape it will no
doubt be more like ‘Magic Flower from the Rain’. I
hope you will give them a try.