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Vascular Plants of Williamson County

Zephyranthes drummondii [Amaryllidaceae]
giant rain–lily, prairie rain–lily, wide–leaf rain–lily, evening star rain–lily

Zephyranthes drummondii D. Don (syn. Cooperia pedunculata), giant rain–lily, prairie rain–lily, wide–leaf rain–lily, evening star rain–lily. Perennial herb, geophytic, bulb–bearing, fibrous–rooted, rosetted, scapose with 1 ascending inflorescence, in range 16—45 cm tall (aboveground); shoots with only basal leaves from bulb, leaves commonly 5—6, present at anthesis, gray–green and glaucous, glabrous, not odorous when crushed; bulb to 12 cm deep, oblate spheroid, to 35 × 50 mm, covered with papery old leaf sheaths and above the bulb having a persistent, brown cylinder to ground level of old leaf tissue (neck of tunic), cylinder 8—10 mm diameter, mother bulb not forming an obvious clusters of bulblets; adventitious roots from base of bulb

Stem (peduncle)

Stem (peduncle) cylindric, ca. 4 mm diameter, green from base upward, white belowground, hollow below flower node.


Leaves alternate distichous, simple and sheathing (including belowground portion); blade linear, in range 150+ × 7—8.3 mm, flat, entire, parallel–veined with many veins, midrib absent, glaucous.


Inflorescence flower solitary, terminal on peduncle (scape), in bud flower erect on short pedicel increasing in fruit, bracteate, glabrous; peduncle erect, cylindric, to 380 mm long, hollow; bractlet subtending pedicel closed, cylindric splitting from top to midpoint into 2 lobes, to 45 mm long, splitting also on 1 side of ovary but closed 10 mm, aging papery showing parallel veins; pedicel cylindric, 5—11+ mm long.


Flower bisexual, radial, to 45 mm across, to 85 mm long, sweetly fragrant; hypanthium above ovary cylindric (= perianth tube), ca. 40 × 2.6—2.9 mm, green to midpoint of hypanthium becoming white where tepals attached, thick–walled (to 1 mm); tepals 6 in 2 whorls, widely spreading, ± monomorphic, pure white aging with rose–purple, parallel–veined, of outer whorl ± elliptic, 38—45 × 16—17 mm, with short green to reddish point at tip, of inner whorl ovate, 39—45 × 20—24 mm, white at tip; stamens 6, attached at top of hypanthium and above bases of tepals at three different levels, included; filaments erect, unequal, free portion triangular (never slender), 0.5—3.5 mm long, white, glabrous; anthers dorsifixed, dithecal, 7—8 mm long, pale yellow, longitudinally dehiscent; pollen pale yellow; nectary on top of ovary; pistil 1; ovary inferior, cylindric, 3 mm diameter, green, glabrous, 3(—4)–chambered, each chamber with 12+ ovules in 2 vertical stacks; style included, to 2.5 × 0.7 mm (to about midpoint of hypanthium), white, flaring upward and unequally 3–lobed, each lobe with a terminal stigma.


Fruit capsule, loculicidal, dehiscent by 3(—4) widely spreading valves (ca. 20 mm across), 35—50+–seeded, before dehiscent conspicuously 3(—4)–lobed, 12—15 × 16—17 mm, green at base and mostly purplish above, when dehiscent with horizontal valves ± 20 mm across displaying flattened seeds projecting upward in 2 rows per chamber; pedicel in fruit 5—18 mm long.


Seed flattened D–shaped, 4.5—6 × 3—4 × 1.5—2 mm, glossy black, faces rough.

A. C. Gibson