Summer thunderstorms bring more than needed moisture and lowered temperatures. In our garden, the rain lilies put on a little show after the storm. Short tufts of grasslike foliage produce a number of colorful, lily like blooms. Colors vary from bubblegum pink through salmons and golds to yellows and whites. There are no bad colors in these little gems.
Properly called Zephyranthes, they make their first appearance in Alabama’s flatwoods, where they bloom white and tolerate flooding. Perfectly suited to the average garden, these Alabama natives give the largest and earliest (Easter) blooms of the Zephyranthes. Called Atamasco or Easter lilies (that term is antiquated), these wonderful bulbs are usually available in the Native Plant booth at the Birmingham Botanical Garden plant sale.
Blooming in the summer, the smaller rain lilies are the ones you will see in gardens today. These are somewhat harder to find. Mine came through the magic of the internet, where you can find them via online nurseries and even ebay. All are successful, but the white Zephyranthes alba is the quickest to multiply into substantial, divisible clumps. Most will set viable seed. All deserve a place in your garden.