they come with the rains

ZPrairieSunset.jpg

coral lily
Zephyranthus spp.
liliaceae

  • 1' tall, 1.5' WIDE

  • coral, yellow, pink, or white flowers in summer-fall

  • regular to moderate water (low to terrace zones)

  • FULL-part SUN 

  • HARDY TO 0°F

  • GREAT CONTAINER PLANT

At first, this plant may seem shy and inconspicuous. The flat, wild-onion-like leaves may quietly hide, even right in a border. Some species have flatter leaves like garlic chives, other more like regular chives. But as soon as the monsoon rains come, the aptly-named rain lily (Zephyranthus spp) will start sending up a barrage of 6-petaled flowers.

Z. candida has white flowers. Z. rosea has pink. Z. sulfura has yellow and the garden hybrid 'prairie sunset', has coral-peach flowers with yellow stamens. There are over 70 recognized species!

In Arizona, our wild species (Zephyranthus longifolia) is rarer in the landscape trade and has yellow flowers--it is worth growing if you see one at the nursery (we are working on getting them). 

These plants are tough and can take full to part sun, moderate water, and grow pretty fast. They can take temperatures as low as about 0°F, and do well in containers. Mix them up with other native flowers for the surprise in the summer. They may bloom until late fall. 

The native Z. longifolia

The native Z. longifolia

Katherine Gierlach