Readers’ wildlife photos

July 26, 2023 • 8:15 am

Don’t forget to send in any good wildlife photos you have lying about!

Today’s plant photos are from reader Dan Fromm. His captions are indented, and you can click on the photos to enlarge them:

Our Texas rain lilies.

In the early ‘oughts my wife and I visited a friend in Austin, TX, a native Texan and a retired ichthyologist,  who took us to visit Pedernales Falls State Park where Pat, who is our family’s gardener, dug up a few bulbs of a rain lily.  Jim told us that the plant was Cooperia drummondi., my preferred reference for taxonomy, says that C. drummondi Herb. is an invalid synonym of Zephyranthes chlorosolen (Herb.) D. Dietr. and that Z. drummondii D. Don. is also valid.  I’m not as clear as I’d like to be about how to tell the two apart but believe with no good justification that ours are Z. drummondii.

We brought Pat’s wild rain lilies back to New Jersey.  She potted them, set them out on the patio and hoped for the best.  The plants bloomed, the flowers were pollinated by our local bees and we had seeds.  Some fell into their parents’ pot; Pat selected others and put them on top of the soil in new pots and in the garden.

Since our winters are more severe than Texas Hill Country winters, Pat brings her potted rain lilies in for the winter.  They usually go out in mid-spring.  She doesn’t water them at all while they’re indoors.  After they’re outside and watered they bloom.  We have more plants than we started with, not a surprise.

Pat has continued this cycle for more than twenty years.  2023 started slowly for our rain lilies, who stayed indoors until June 27th.  We had rain that day, and on the morning of 29th we had three trays of lovely white blossoms.  The trays bulge because the plants’ bulbs have grown.  The largest are fist sized.

In the morning of the 30th the white blooms had turned pink.  By the end of the day the blossoms had begun to collapse.

On the morning a July 1st we had a few new white flowers.  The older ones had pretty much shed their petals.  Later that day developing seed pods began to appear and the pedicels started to fall off.

On July 4th the pods were larger but some pedicels remained.

On July 8th the pods were well developed but not ready to dehisce.

On July 14th the pods were open and ready to shed seeds.  They might have begun to open a day or two earlier but I wasn’t up to visiting them then.  Gastroenteritis, not recommended.  After I photographed them Pat harvested the seed pods and spread some seeds on fresh soil in a new tray.

July 18:

Finally, by July 23d the seeds had germinated and the sprouts were well on the way.

15 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. Always love this website feature snd can’t comment every time, so I’ll comment now – interesting entry – the whole DIY / exploration sort of thing – and a beautiful plant right in your home garden.

  2. That is a gorgeous flower turning from white to pink…..a lot of information and instructions in those little seeds.
    Thanks for this information.

  3. Zephyranthes – what a perfect name for an alluring, ephemeral flower! (It sounds a little tough to grow, though..)

    1. Susan, they’re as easy to keep and reproduce as could be. Otherwise we’d have killed them off years ago. If the plant appeals, they’re available on line. Google will find vendors. Year ago I collected some Z. atamasco in the Florida Panhandle. Very appealing, just as hardy. They also winter over in the plant room with our other tender plants.

  4. Nice! Just a note for those interested in trying to grow them, particularly those living outside the natural range of rain lilies — there is at least one vendor in northern Florida that sells nursery-grown bulbs of Zephyranthes, Habranthus, and related “rain lilies”, both naturally occurring and nursery-created hybidds.. You can find their plants by searching “rain lilies” on EBay.

  5. Our botanical gardens offered Rain Lily plants for sale this past Spring. Having never heard of them, I purchased three and planted them in a small flower bed around our mailbox. Mine are a deep hot pink, and give me such joy when they bloom. It’s always a surprise to see their smiling faces! Thank you for the added information.

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