Rain lily

Zephyranthes reginae

Photo/Illustration: 
Jenks Farmer
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Rain lily (Zephyranthes reginae)
zef-er-AN-theez REE-jin-ay
Synonyms:  Cooperia reginae
Genus:  Zephyranthes

These Mexican native bulbs actually offer demanding gardeners flowers on demand. They produce strappy foliage to 12 inches tall and clusters of buttery-yellow, starry, crocus-like blossoms two to three days after every rain in summer and early autumn. Or, if it doesn't rain, simply water and fertilize three days prior to your intended display, and the moisture will prompt the flowers to appear, hence the common name, rainflower. These bulbs are widely adaptable to diverse soil conditions, and may be grown in full sun to partial shade, but they prefer some shade.

Noteworthy Characteristics: 

They are perfect for rock gardens, border edges, or for naturalizing. Where not hardy, they can be grown indoors in a cool greenhouse, or placed outside in containers for summer display.

Care: 

Provide moist, well drained soil in full sun or partial shade. Avoid excess winter moisture. Adaptable to a wide range of soils.

Propagation: 

Sow seed when fresh; separate bulbs in spring.

Problems: 

Infrequent.

Overview

Height
Less than 6 in.
Spread
Less than 6 in.
Growth Habit
Clumps
Growth Pace
Moderate Grower
Light
Full Sun to Part Shade
Moisture
Dry to Medium
Maintenance
Low
Characteristics
Native,
Self Seeds,
Showy Flowers
Bloom Time
Fall,
Late Summer,
Summer
Flower Color
Primrose Yellow
Uses
Beds and Borders,
Container,
Cut Flower,
Ground Covers,
Suitable as Annual
Style
Desert Garden,
Formal Garden,
Meadow Garden,
Rock Garden
Seasonal Interest
Summer Interest
Tolerance
Deer Tolerant,
Drought Tolerant
Type
Bulbs

Zephyranthes reginae