Wildflower alert — Rain lily

by Eleanor Dietrich, Florida Wildflower Panhandle Alliance

Rain lily

This is a beautiful showy white flower (Zephyranthes atamasa) that looks like a lily, but is actually in the Amaryllis family. It blooms in late winter and early spring and often occurs in large colonies in rich woods.The long leaves are very thin and shiny green. It has three petals and three sepals that look just alike and are called tepals. There is one flower per flower stalk (called a scape). The species name comes from a Native American word “attamusco”, which means “it is stained with red”, and refers to the color of the buds and perhaps the color of the fading flowers. The genus name comes from the Greek word for the north wind (zephyr) and for flower (anthos).