Common name: White Storm Lily, White Autumn Crocus
Well known for flowering immediately after summer rainstorms at the beginning of a wet season, Zephyranthes candida has flowers that resemble the temperate Crocus species, hence the common names. Funnel-shaped pearl-white flowers with six petals are about 4cm long and have saffron coloured anthers. Flowers are produced singly on hollow stalks. Two clones are also grown in the south east by collectors. One has pure white flowers and the other, flowers which remain cupped.
The Storm Lily has narrow, deep green leaves about 3mm wide and about to 20cm long. The evergreen leaves are almost flat on one side and convex on the other, creating a reed-like appearance.
It is a vigorous clumping plant that can double in size each year. Propagation is by division usually done in early spring or late autumn.
The Storm Lily tolerates periods of dry weather very well and will reward you with flowers when rains finally arrive after the dry period.
Zephranthes candida hails from Argentina. The Zephyranthes genus has about 70 species (distributed from Texas, USA, down through Central America, the Caribbean and the South American Continent to Argentina), many of which deserve to be more widely cultivated in the tropical and subtropical climate zones. Flowers of these species vary from pink to copper, cream, yellow and lavender.
Best growing conditions are
- full sun to light shade
- well drained soil
- good fertile soil for optimal growth
- water regularly for maximum bulb development.
Outdoor growing in the landscape
Grow this plant in clumps or as a large display.
Looks great when planted along pathways and driveways.
Ideally suited to unit and balcony gardens.
Written by Paul Plant, Editor of subTropical Gardening magazine - www.stgmagazine.com.au