Scarlet Rain Lily - Ox-Blood Lily - Fairy Lily
Hippeastrum x Johnsonii
Amaryllis (Liliaceae) Family
Plant is an upright perennial from a coated bulb. Its preferred habitat is yards, roadsides and the margin of low moist areas, and flood plains. Distribution is extremely sparse in the Escambia region, except where the bulbs have been protected in a domestic environment.
The leaves are basal, surrounding a leafless stem. Each leaf is linear in outline, with sharp-pointed tip; slightly pinched with sides less than equal, no teeth and no lobes. Some leaves may appear to be rolled under, resembling an onion blade. The leaves emerge after the plant flowers the first time during a given season. Any visible side veins will be parallel to the mid-vein.
Flowers are on multiple scapes (a leafless flower stalk that arises from the ground level that may be one- or many-flowered) that measures 12 to 15 inches tall. Each stalk will bear 2 or three bright red flowers that have whitish or yellow streaks down the inner throat. Five to 6 petals will expand to about 3 or 4 inches broad. The spathe is under the flower, typical of rain lilies, and will be about 2 inches long. Flowers occur in late summer following a series of ample rainfalls.
This is a native lily that is easy to grow from seed. By far, however, the best method is to dig and divide the bulb cluster after the third year of flowering. The plant is especially adapted to soils and temperatures in the Escambia region.