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Rain or Storm Lilies (Zephyranthes and Habranthus)

Rain lily refers to about 70 species of Zephyranthes and Habranthus, all of which are flowering bulbs that share this common name. Both species are related and have similar flowers and foliage. 

These small bulbs earned the name "rain lily" because they often flower within a few days after rain. From spring through autumn, rain lilies can produce flushes of star-shaped, crocus-like flowers that are bronze, copper, white, pink or yellow, depending on the species. Flowers of some new hybrids are in shades of peach, orange and red, and some have multicolored flowers in striped or picotee patterns. Rain lily’s easy care, broad adaptability and beautiful, starry flowers make it ideal for gardens.

 In cultivation the rain lily will flower throughout the year if kept alternatively wet and dry with the majority of blooms in summer and autumn. Each flower lasts just a day or two, depending on sunlight and temperature, but typically new flowers continually develop for several days, creating flushes of flowering.

 The narrow, grass like foliage blends in well in rock gardens and can be used as borders in gardens and containers. These small perennials are among the easiest bulbs to grow and if left undisturbed will develop over several seasons into truly impressive clumps. 

 A new trend emerging is to inter-plant them with mondo grass to create feature flowering "garden lawns" or plant directly into grass areas. In their natural environment they are found growing in pastures amongst grasses. Often they are used to create borders in planter boxes or small 'hedges' to define garden beds.   For maximum impact grow them on mass in broad ribbons or blocks rather than scatter them throughout a garden bed.  They look good throughout the year, forming a lush green grassy cover. 

 Rain lily bulbs adapt to seasonal dry weather by losing leaves until rainfall resumes. In the garden, soil moisture usually is sufficient for most species to retain their leaves throughout much of the year.

 Rain lily grows best in rich, moist, well-drained soil with a slightly acid to neutral pH. They are not salt tolerant. Most rainlily species will flourish under full sun to part shade. Rain lily bulbs also are well adapted to growing in containers, provided plants are watered regularly to maintain adequate moisture.

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