AskIFAS Powered by EDIS

Zephyranthes spp. Rain Lily

Edward F. Gilman, Ryan W. Klein, and Gail Hansen


These dainty, funnel-shaped blooms pop up seemingly overnight after a heavy rain when grown in the wild, appearing in various shades of white, yellow, pink, rose, red, or orange. In cultivation, rain lily will flower throughout the year if kept alternately wet and dry with the majority of blooms produced in late summer or early fall. The narrow, grass-like foliage blends in well in rock gardens, borders, or it can be used in containers.

Flower - Zephyranthes spp.: Rain lily.
Figure 1. Flower - Zephyranthes spp.: Rain lily.
Credit: Edward F. Gilman, UF/IFAS

General Information

Scientific name: Zephyranthes spp.

Pronunciation: zeff-fer-RANTH-eez species

Common name(s): rain lily

Family: Amaryllidaceae

Plant type: bulb/tuber; herbaceous

USDA hardiness zones: 7B through 11 (Figure 2)

Planting month for zone 7: year-round

Planting month for zone 8: year-round

Planting month for zone 9: year-round

Planting month for zone 10 and 11: year-round

Origin: native to Florida

Invasive potential: not known to be invasive

Uses: naturalizing; edging

Availability: grown in small quantities by a small number of nurseries

Shaded area represents potential planting range.
Figure 2. Shaded area represents potential planting range.


Height: 0.5 to 1 feet

Spread: 0.5 to 1 feet

Plant habit: upright

Plant density: open

Growth rate: slow

Texture: fine


Leaf arrangement: most emerge from the soil, usually without a stem

Leaf type: simple

Leaf margin: entire

Leaf shape: linear

Leaf venation: parallel

Leaf type and persistence: deciduous

Leaf blade length: 2 to 4 inches; 4 to 8 inches

Leaf color: green

Fall color: no fall color change

Fall characteristic: not showy


Flower color: orange; pink; red; yellow; white; rose

Flower characteristic: summer flowering; fall flowering; spring flowering


Fruit shape: oval

Fruit length: unknown

Fruit cover: dry or hard

Fruit color: unknown

Fruit characteristic: inconspicuous and not showy

Trunk and Branches

Trunk/bark/branches: not applicable

Current year stem/twig color: not applicable

Current year stem/twig thickness: not applicable


Light requirement: plant grows in part shade/part sun

Soil tolerances: occasionally wet; clay; sand; acidic; loam; slightly alkaline

Drought tolerance: high

Soil salt tolerances: poor

Plant spacing: 6 to 12 inches


Roots: not applicable

Winter interest: no special winter interest

Outstanding plant: not particularly outstanding

Pest resistance: long-term health usually not affected by pests

Use and Management

Growing in full sun or partial shade, rain lily is tolerant of various soils and is moderately salt-tolerant. Bulbs can be left in the ground over winter if they are mulched heavily, or they can be lifted and replanted in the spring.

Zephyranthes candida has dainty, white, late-summer to spring blooms; Zephyranthes rosea has rose-pin blooms in late summer; and Zephyranthes sulphurea has soft yellow, mid-summer blooms.

Pests and Diseases

Propagation is by seed or division.

Problems include maggots and chewing insects.

Botrytis may be a problem.

Publication #FPS-621

Release Date:February 5, 2024

Related Collections

Part of Shrubs Fact Sheets

  • Critical Issue: 1. Agricultural and Horticultural Enterprises
Organism ID

About this Publication

This document is FPS-621, one of a series of the Department of Environmental Horticulture, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date October 1999. Revised October 2023. Visit the EDIS website at for the currently supported version of this publication.

About the Authors

Edward F. Gilman, professor emeritus; Ryan W. Klein, assistant professor, arboriculture; and Gail Hansen, professor, sustainable landscape design; Department of Environmental Horticulture, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.


  • Gail Hansen de Chapman
thumbnail for publication: Zephyranthes spp. Rain Lily