Plant DetailShow Menu

Atamasca Lily Zephyranthes atamasco

Previously known as:

  • Amaryllis atamasca
  • Atamosco atamasca
  • Zephyranthes atamasca
Phonetic Spelling
ze-fi-RANTH-eez at-uh-MAS-koh
This plant has high severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Rain lily is a native onion-like perennial bulb in the Amaryllidaceae (lily) family that is native to SE USA and NC in mainly the coastal and Piedmont areas. In nature, it is found bottomland forests and adjacent road shoulders, wet meadows, and sometimes in upland forests over mafic rocks.  The name zephros is Greek for west wind and anthos means flower.

Plant in full sun to partial shade in moist to wet organically rich soils.  Occasionally add some leaf mold to the soil.  It will tolerate seasonal flooding and will bloom best if it receives at least 2 hours of direct sunlight a day. This bulb is frost sensitive so only thrives in areas that do not have deep winter freezes.

The foliage is grass-like and may be easy to miss with no blooms. The showy fragrant trumpet flowers are white, sometimes tinged with pink in the spring. They can be a welcome bright spot in an otherwise shady landscape planting.  It can spread from bulb offsets to form colonies. The plant goes dormant in summer so plan for the space in the landscape.

 

Rain lily was selected as the 2010 NC Wildflower of the Year, a program managed by the North Carolina Botanical Garden with some financial support from the Garden Club of North Carolina.

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bulb#showy flowers#poisonous#fragrant flowers#perennial#white flowers#lily#large flowers#native garden#native wildflower#wildflower garden#food source spring#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#Coastal FACW#Piedmont Mountains FACW#wet soils tolerant#native#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses#audubon#meadows#NC Wildflower of the Year#wet soils intolerant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bulb#showy flowers#poisonous#fragrant flowers#perennial#white flowers#lily#large flowers#native garden#native wildflower#wildflower garden#food source spring#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#Coastal FACW#Piedmont Mountains FACW#wet soils tolerant#native#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses#audubon#meadows#NC Wildflower of the Year#wet soils intolerant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Zephyranthes
    Species:
    atamasco
    Family:
    Amaryllidaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Bulb
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    SE USA
    Distribution:
    AL, FL, GA, MD, MS, NC, SC, VA
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 6 in. - 1 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Bulb
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Poisonous
    Wildflower
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Frequent Standing Water
    Moist
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a, 10b, 10a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Fruits are thin-walled, dry capsules with shiny black seeds from May to June.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Trumpet
    Flower Petals:
    6 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    3 in. long erect, waxy, lily-like white flowers that turn pink with age; borne singly on 12-inch stems. Bloom from March to April.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Other/more complex
    Leaf Shape:
    Linear
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Grass-like leaves are glossy green, linear, flat to somewhat concave, up to 1/2 inch wide and one foot in length.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Hollow, green, leafless flower stalks about 12 inches tall.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Container
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Near Septic
    Pond
    Riparian
    Small Space
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Cottage Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rain Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Attracts:
    Pollinators
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Wet Soil
    Problems:
    Poisonous to Humans
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Dogs
    Problem for Horses
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    High
    Poison Symptoms:
    May be fatal if eaten though it is so bitter it I difficult to ingest enough. Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Alkaloids lycorine and others
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Flowers
    Fruits
    Leaves
    Roots
    Stems