Rain Lily
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Rain lily belongs to the genus Zephyranthes. This beautiful plant is native to the Western Hemisphere and is commonly grown in the tropical and temperate regions. It is found in various places such as tropical lowlands, rain forest, arid deserts.  It is very common in the Florida, Mexico, Gautemala, Hawii, Indonesia, Thailand, Argentina, India, Pacific and Indian oceans, Peru, Colombia. The plant is regarded as a perennial plant in the Northern part of Florida. It belongs to the Amaryllis family. There are over 70 species of rain lily.  This bulbous/tuberous herbaceous plant grows up to 5 feet tall, spreads up to 5 feet and has a slow growth rate. This finely textured plant is mostly used for naturalizing and edging purpose.

They look beautiful when planted in large mass. They grow easily in pot, in the garden soil, nooks and crannies. They add extra attraction to the environment around us.

This plant is commonly known as rainflower, fairy lily, zephyr lily, Atamasco lily, magic lily or rain lily.

This is a perennial bulb with ornamental characteristics and has good tolerance capacity ecologically.

Some of the rain lily species: 1) Zephyranthes Americana 2) Zephyranthes amoena 3) Zephyranthes brevipes 4) Zephyranthes breviscapa 5) Zephyranthes carinata 6) Zephyranthes cearensis 7) Zephyranthes filifolia 8) Zephyranthes flavissima 9) Zephyranthes fluvialis 10) Zephyranthes microstigma 11) Zephyranthes minima 12) Zephyranthes minuta

Scientific classification:

Kingdom: Plantae

Clade:   Angiosperms

Clade: Monocots

Order: Asparagales

Family: Amaryllidoideae

Tribe: Hippeastreae

Sub-tribe: Zephyranthinae

Genus: Zephyranthes

Flower: Rain flower come in different species. Thus, the color of the flower also varies accordingly from white, yellow, pink, orange, red etc. This funnel shaped flower has six petals. Some of the flowers such as Z.drummondii, Z. morrisclintae and Z.jonesii produce sweet pleasant smell. This beautiful and attractive flower appear for maximum two days and die off quickly. But worries apart, new flower starts to bloom continuously from the baby bulbs. The bloom is speedy during rainy season and also when the day is humid. The bloom period depends upon the kind of species. Some of them last only till spring and others last till autumn. Early spring to late summer is the common bloom time of this plant. They grow even during the rainy season. Z.primulina has the longest bloom record from April to October. Z.morrisclintae is one of the species of the rain flower that blooms only in the spring.

Leaves: The rain lily bears five to six narrow dark green colored leaves.

Cultivation: Rain lilies are cultivated in garden soil or are planted in pots in the nurseries. Planting the bulbs of this plant is not problematic. We can plant the bulbs in clumps or in a single manner.  Pink rain lily is one of the most common out of all the other species. Currently people have started to plant coral, white and yellow colored rain lilies.

Zephyanthes has the ability to withstand dry periods but in case you prefer a green leave throughout the season, than it is best to water the plant thoroughly especially in the drying areas.

Here are some ways of taking care of specific kinds of rain lily depending upon their habitat:

· White rain lily is native to Brazil, Uruguay, parts of U.S and Argentina. It commonly grows near rivers, marshes and prefers a sunny location. The bulbs of this plant needs to be planted in the spring.

· Pink rain lily of Southern Mexico,Central America, Peru, Colombia and Caribbean islands grow well in beach sand.

· Atamasco lily grown in Southern America prefers to grow in sunny environment or light shade with well-drained, humus and sandy soil.

 The right time to plant Zephyranthes rain lily is in the spring or beginning of fall. The bulb needs to be planted an inch-deep into the soil making sure that the soil is well-drained. It prefers to grow in partial or in full sunlight.

 One important secret of this plant is that it will remain perennial provided that it receives water and also made to remain dry alternatively.

 It is possible to plant this plant inside a container.

 The propagation process of this plant has been proved positive through seed or by division of the bulb.

Breeding: With the differences in chromosome, breeding of rain lily has been made difficult but, breeding has not been stopped yet. People breed this plant to get a result of an ornamental effect in the plant. Tri-hybrids and quad-hybrids are also in practice or experimented with this plant.

Care: With the newer variety of rain lily coming up through the hybrid plantation, the growing time of the plant may vary but the overall care of this plat is similar. Like all the other plants, rain lily needs to be watered regularly during its active growing season. Also addition of some amount of compost annually and during the growing time is wisely suggested. The bulbs ought not to be dried over an extended period of time. It is occasionally good to water the bulbs even during its dormant state.

Maggots and some insects are the most visible pest problems to this plant.

It is suggested that this plant be planted in an area where afternoon shade is available in case of the hottest growing region. We need to provide regular water throughout the year. In case of failure to watering, the plant is likely to die out but it will resume growing once we start watering again. The soil needs to be rich in compost manure good enough to hold enough moisture.We need to be cautious when moving the bulbs. For example: bulbs moved when the bed is single or not overcrowded will not grow well. Lastly make sure that the planting area is well drained and in a protected location.

Uses: Zephyranthes serve as an ornamental plant when planted in the gardens, pathways, along the pavement and in the parks. In other words they look perfect in gardens, borders and beds.

They give an extra glow of attraction when plant among other species of plants.

Caution: All parts of this plan are poisonous if consumed.

General information: In general rain lily is scientifically named as Zephyranthes and belongs to the family of Amaryllidaceae. It grows to the height of 5 to 1 feet, spreads up to 5 feet, with fine texture and has a slow growth rate. It falls in the category of bulbs and has the bloom characteristic of giving fragrant smell. It needs regular watering but not in access. It accepts full to partial exposure to sunlight. It blooms late summer and early spring. This plant is poisonous if consumed in any case. It is possible to propagate this plant through seeds, dividing the rhizome, tubers or bulbs.

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