Rain lilies are a group of extremely easy-to-grow flowers that belong in every home landscape.
As early as June, the first ones pop up a few days after a heavy rain. These are Habranthus robustus, a very pale pink to white-petaled flower that lasts but a day or two and then produces a fat three-lobed seed head. When the seed pod bursts, the shiny black seeds can be moved to new places or shared with friends. They will have a second bloom after another rain and then bloom sporadically throughout the summer.
In mid-summer we find a brighter pink rain lily known as Zephyranthes grandiflora or Z. carinata. These have a deeper color and hold their bloom for several days, although they don’t multiply as rapidly as the H. robustus.
Another of the genus Zephyranthes is Z. citrina, a bright yellow summer-blooming rain lily.
In mid- to late-summer we begin to see Z. candida, a small pure white rain lily with bright yellow stamens and bright green rush-like foliage. This one blooms heavily in late August and September and really brightens up a tired border.
Finally, there is a small native Texas favorite known as the Texas copper lily. This is another of the Habranthus group, H. tubispathus texensis. These are small, bright golden flowers that will form large clumps over time.
Established rain lily bulbs can be easily propagated by division. All the varieties mentioned will be available at the Smith County “From Bulbs to Blooms” event Oct. 14 at Harvey Convention Center. Information can be found at www.txmg.org/smith .
Everyone needs some rain lilies. They’re easy to plant, need no fertilizer, have no bug problems and are always a surprise when they pop up and bloom in just a day or two.