15 September 2011

Rain Lilies

This spring, I found, ordered online, and planted one of the gems that I discovered at the Dallas Arboretum last year. The Rain Lilies Zephyranthes candida were planted along the edge of a bed with hopes of a blooming summer. After noting them in a past blog post, I found out the name signified that they bloomed after a rain in the late summer or fall.

Zephyranthes are related to the amaryllis family, and are native to Argentina and Uruguay in South America. Those found blooming in the late summer heat of Dallas [17.10.10] were plentiful along the walking path.

My plants began growing after the spring rains with some small green sprouts resembling grass. Excitement turned to cautious optimism throughout the summer, as hot weather seemed to stop growth, but not kill them off. I soaked the area well during a two week period in Virginia's summer heat wave, hoping to trick the lilies into believing it was rain, and hoping to get them blooming.

Then in the middle of summer, one bloomed. One lonely pink flower proudly bloomed and was placed in a post for Garden Bloggers Bloom Day [15.7.11]. But wait - this was pink. I ordered several white bulbs. I was resigned to the fact that I received another mixed-up nursery order. I noticed the leaves on this particular plant were thicker and longer than the others, and held out hope that this one plant was different from the others.

After Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee dumped beaucoup buckets of rain within two weeks, the other bulbs began blooming this week. It turns out that they are all the correct white species, 10 inches high (25 cm), with 1/8 inch wide grass-like leaves (5 mm) and 1 1/2 inch white star flowers (3 cm). So, they really do come out after a rain.

Looks like only one is pink. I will move it to another location this fall, and wait for both of each to easily multiply and fill in, as they are supposed to do.
For The Record:
  • Drained clay soil with gypsum & organic amendments
  • Full sun
  • No fertilizer

Garden Calendar:
  • Blooming: pink cosmos, mexican zinnia, zinnia, rain lilies, rose, rudbeckia, salvia
  • Harvested: 2 small peppers, 5 chilis, 1 tomato, 1 cucumber