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Zephyranthes atamasca


Flower close-up
Atamasco or rain lilies blooming near the entrance to the caves at Florida Caverns State Park

Zephyranthes atamasca, commonly known as the atamasco-lily or more generally a rain-lily,<ref name=GRIN/> is native to the southeastern United States. It grows in swampy forests and coastal prairies, preferring acid boggy soils rich with leaf mold. Following the appearance of broad, grassy leaves in early winter, it blooms in March or April. It has several narrow, linear basal leaves about Template:Convert wide and Template:Convert long.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> Its native range extends from Florida north to Maryland and west to Mississippi.<ref name="fna">1. Zephyranthes atamasca (Linnaeus) Herbert. Flora of North America</ref> The species is also naturalized in Bermuda and in the Mariana Islands.<ref>Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families</ref>


The scientific name of this species has a somewhat complex history. In 1753, in the first edition of Species Plantarum, Carl Linnaeus placed it in the genus Amaryllis using the epithet "Atamasca" (the capital "A" showing that this was intended as a noun, not an adjective).<ref name=Linn53>Template:Cite book</ref> However, in the second edition of Species Plantarum, he changed the spelling to "Atamasco" (again with a capital "A").<ref name=Linn62>Template:Cite book</ref> "Atamasco" is the Native American name.<ref>Template:Cite book</ref> When in 1821, William Herbert transferred the species to his genus Zephyranthes he used Linnaeus's later spelling for the epithet, i.e. Zephyranthes atamasco,<ref name=Herb21>Template:Cite journal</ref> this being the type species of the genus. Many sources have used this spelling subsequently. However, the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants conserves the type of Zephyranthes using the spelling atamasca.<ref name=GRIN/><ref>Template:Cite web</ref>


Synonyms include the following:<ref>Template:ThePlantList</ref>

Note: Amaryllis atamasco Blanco = Hippeastrum miniatum<ref name="WCSP">Template:Cite web</ref>
  • Amaryllis aramasco L., orth. var.
  • Amaryllis atanasia Crantz
  • Amaryllis pulchella Salisb.
  • Amaryllis verecunda Salisb.
  • Amaryllis virginiensis Oken
  • Atamasco atamasco (L.) Greene, nom. inval.
  • Zephyranthes atamasco var. minor Herb.


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  • Garden Bulbs for the South (1994)

External links