Zephyranthes atamasco (Linnaeus) Herbert
Amaryllidaceae (Amaryllis) Family
Plant is an upright, smooth perennial from a bulb. Its preferred habitat is rich woods, moist ditches and sandy pine woods. Distribution is throughout the Escambia region.
The leaves are basal and linear; no teeth and no lobes.
The solitary flower appears at the end of a tall stem. The colors are white, sometimes fading to pink with age (also see below). Flowers occur in the spring.
Fruit is a capsule.
This native plant blooms at the Easter season. The very name implies Palm Sunday, Easter and the Passover. The gentle winds that follow a spring rain brings the fragrant blossoms of several rain lilies to the surface; Atamasco, Zephyr and Easter. As the white lily ages it assumes a tinge of pink in the throat; thus the name.
Several varieties of the Atamasco thrive in the Escambia woods; Longleaf Zephranthes, Yellow Rain Lily (sometimes called copper), and (rarely) a scarlet. All of these are small and pop from the ground following a spring rain, diminishing after about 24 hours; receding to the bulb so to harvest energy for the next spring rain and its next show
A close relative of the white variety of Atamasco is the pink Atamasco. These lilies are borne pink and remain so throughout the flower life.
The pink variation is also an Atamasco Lily of the Amaryllidaceae
family. Also known as Fairy Lily, Zephyr Lily, Magic Lily, Atamasco