Category: Pond Plants
The Zephyr Lily, also called the water crocus, rain lily, rain flower, Atamasco lily, fairy lily or magic lily. Its scientific name is Zephyranthes candida for the most common variety. The name Zephyr lily is derived from the Greek god of the west wind. This species is a member of the Amaryllis family. Also called Zephyranthes, the Zephyr lily encompasses over fifty varieties that may be considered species in their own right.
The Zephyr Lily grows to be about a foot tall and almost as wide. The Zephyr Lily always has six petals, though its color can range from white to yellow to blue to pink. White lilies often have a blush of another color near the center of the flower.
The Zephyr Lily tends to bloom in late summer or early autumn, especially after a rain. Each bloom lasts about a day, but the flower will grow more blooms as long as weather permits and if it has had enough moisture. The blooms appearing after each late summer rain storm is thought to be the origin of the name rain lily.
They have funnel shaped flowers that are crocus shaped. They grow best in wet soil, though there are varieties bred for dryer soil. Zephyr lilies planted as a large clump of bulbs will continue to grow together. Individual bulbs should be planted at least six inches apart. Zephyr lilies do not need shade unless you live in a very hot climate.
Leaf colors for Zephyr lilies vary depending on the variety. Zephyranthes candida has mid-green, grass like leaves. Some species have bronze tinted foliage.
This lily is grown from three inch bulbs by many gardeners, though the species can reproduce sexually. There are many hybrids of this species, which is why it has such variety in color and hardiness. Hybrids tend to be sterile, though they may be propagated vegetatively.