Texas Copper Rain Lily
Habranthus tubispathus (L. Heritier) Traub
Liliaceae (Lily) Family

Plant is an upright perennial from a coated bulb. Preferred habitat is yards, roadsides and the margin of flood plains. Distribution is coastal in the Escambia region.

Leaves are basal, surrounding a leafless stem. Each leaf is linear in outline, with sharp-pointed tip; slightly pinched with sides less than equal, and may appear to be rolled under. The leaves emerge only after the plant flowers the first time of the season. Side veins are parallel to the mid-vein.

Flowers are on a scape about eight inches tall; dark yellow (almost orange); five to six petals that are more or less expanded to about two inches broad. The spathe is under the flower and about two inches long. Flowers occur in the summer following rain showers.

This is a native lily that is easy to grow from seed. A related rain lily, Cooperia drummondii, is found along the Mississippi delta and primarily in western Louisiana and eastern Texas. The two lilies are extremely rare.

Photo courtesy Mike Carter, Pensacola, Florida, August 2010

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