Zephyranthes atamasca (Linnaeus) Herbert
Liliaceae (Lily) 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 Simpson's Atamasco. These lilies are borne pink and remain so throughout the flower life.