Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Giant Rain Lily, Rainlily, Prairie Lily, Hill Country Rain Lily
Zephyranthes drummondii

Family: Amaryllidaceae (am-uh-ril-id-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Zephyranthes (ze-fi-RANTH-eez) (Info)
Species: drummondii (drum-AWN-dee-eye) (Info)

Synonym:Cooperia pedunculata
Synonym:Cooperia drummondii
Synonym:Zephyranthes brazosensis
Synonym:Cooperia chlorosolen
Synonym:Zephyranthes herbertiana

3 vendors have this plant for sale.

25 members have or want this plant for trade.

View this plant in a garden


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)
12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

3-6 in. (7-15 cm)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Flowers are fragrant
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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There are a total of 16 photos.
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12 positives
4 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive geraldallen On Aug 22, 2013, geraldallen from Mineral Wells, TX wrote:

I have grown only a hand full of gardens on my own! However, I have always kept a keen interest in plant growth as a whole. I saw some white rain lilies in my yard this morning and then decided to investigate ( I did not know their name and this was my 1st time seeing them in the yard. It was so many). I went out and picked one and found the smell so pleasing I had to pick some for the house. Later found that some parts of the plant is poisonous. Anyways, I found your website and found it informative.

Positive stephen43jackso On Mar 27, 2013, stephen43jackso from San Antonio, TX wrote:

I have grown this rain lily in San Antonio for about 5 years. I love the fact that I don't need to worry about taking care of it during my summer vacation trip. I can grow it in full sun or part shade. It grows well in my heavy clay soil. The leaves reach about one foot in heighth. During drought they may all lay down and during a prolonged drought all leaves die out as it goes dormant. Several days after a drenching rain they all seem to bloom within a three day period (some blooming a day or two before the others).
This has the largest size bulb of any rain lily I know with a diameter of 3 inches for fully grown ones as I can recall. The flowers open at sunset and stay open for 48 hours (2 days).
There is debate among botanists about whether this plant should be identified at Cooperia pendaculata or Zephyranthes drummondii. Thad M. Howard in his book Bulbs for warm climates favors the separate genus (cooperia) designation while Scott Ogden in his book Garden bulbs for the South favors being lumped in with the Zephyranthes. Each has good reasons for each side of the debate which I call the lumpers vs. the separaters. In San Antonio, there is another rain lily that many confuse with this. It is Zephyranthes chlorosolen (Cooperia drummondii) which is a smaller white rain lily that more often shows up in lawns in San Antonio, it has a smaller flower with a longer floral tube. The bulbs are also smaller.

Positive realbirdlady On Mar 25, 2012, realbirdlady from Austin, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Dang! This is a GIANT rain lily!

Neutral trying84 On Mar 19, 2012, trying84 from Mount Dora, FL wrote:

I have a lily that fits the descrition of the Rain Lily. We call it an African Lily. Is this the same? The only booms and plants that do well are in shade and under hugh philidenrom (sp) plants. I have some now under an oak tree in partly shade and they are not doing well at all. Do you have any suggestions as to where the best location would be? I am in Central Fl. zone 9. Thanks.

Positive victorengel On Oct 31, 2011, victorengel from Austin, TX wrote:

In October 2011 we receive a couple of inches of rainfall after several months of no rain. Three days later, the roadsides were blanketed with rain lily flowers. In spots, fires from the drought had scorched the grass, making the rain lilies show up wonderfully. Elsewhere, they were blooming in otherwise brown vegetation. This plant faithfully and quickly blooms after rains, hence the name. Black seeds are quickly produced where the flowers were. The seeds will readily spread the plants.

Positive Get_growing On Apr 30, 2011, Get_growing from Dallas, TX wrote:

Now that I've figured out what it is...this lily was growing wild in my yard before I moved here. Grows in very hard clay soil next to concrete foundation on south side of house, so it receives a lot of afternoon sun, too. Apparently takes any amount of neglect and drought. Continues to spread, and I do nothing to it. Blooms when it feels like it, usually after rain but sometimes just cuz!

Positive Iceman2458 On May 30, 2010, Iceman2458 from Copperas Cove, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I first observed this plant (Cooperia pendunculata) growing on Doeskin Ranch portion of the Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge in the Texas Hill Country. The open prairie was just full of white blooms in mid-May, two days later I returned to photograph a few and there was not a single bloom to be found. Certainly an intriguing little plant to those of us who are plant illiterate.

Positive dmj1218 On Oct 9, 2006, dmj1218 from west Houston, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

It is correctly known as Cooperia drummondii, and not formerly known as Cooperia drummondii; because Cooperia species' are nocturnally blooming and Zephyranthes species' blooms open in the morning to mid-day. My source is Thad M. Howard who is thought of as the leading authority on native Texas bulbs and who has discovered and identified over 35 species native to Texas, Mexico, and South America.

Positive turbosbabe96 On Sep 15, 2006, turbosbabe96 from Ingleside, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

These are so pretty! They are blooming like crazy around here! I wasnt sure what they were, so I got on here and searched around. I KNEW I would find it! I had told my hubby that I thought they were some type of Lily! Turns out I was right! Too cool! How can I get some for my yard or a container?? They are growing wild down here.

Positive indirt On Sep 1, 2006, indirt from Hico, TX (Zone 7b) wrote:

What a lovely find growin on our land.

Positive htop On Aug 5, 2005, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Giant rain lily is a Texas (mainly Central Texas, Edwards Plateau and South Texas Plains), Mexico and Louisiana native rain lily that is found in clayey or sandy soils. Giant rain lily usually reaches twelve inches in height. The leaves are slender, smooth and grass-like. It produces blooms most heavily in March and April, but can bloom sporadically through September. The white and sometimes tinged with pink on the outer surface blooms are large for a rain lily and are between 2 and 3 inches. They persist for several days. The petals and sepals are indistinguishable from each other and, together, they are called tepals. Giant rain lily has a floral tube that is one to one and a half inches long, This tube distinguishes it from Cebolleta (Cooperia drummondii) which has a longer floral tube. Also, Cebolleta blooms in late summer through fall. Rainlily is poisonous to wildlife and livestock. It can cause crusting and cracking of light colored skin, sunburn and and eyes may turn cloudy. It can cause blindness in deer and black cattle. This plant would make an excellent cultivated plant in beds, lawns, rock gardens, xeriscapes and in containers.

Positive htop On Aug 4, 2005, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Formerly named Cooperia drummondii, Drummond's rain lily is, also known as evening rain lily, Cebolleta, evening-star rain-lily, drummond rain-lily and is a native wildflower in Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas (usually central and western Texas with the most concentration throughout the Trans-Pecos region). It can be found growing in clay, clay loam, medium loam, sandy loam, sandy, limestone-based, and caliche type soils.

It usually grows to a height of about 12 inches, but can reach 18 inches. The tubular, white (sometimes tinged with pink on the outer surface) flowers are borne on single floral tubes which are three to seven inches long. It is dormant most of the time. It can bloom in June, but usually blooms in late summer through September or October typically after a rain. The evening rain lily, like most night bloomers, is lightly fragrant.It can be propagated by seed or division. Plant seeds in the fall and transplant divisions almost anytime. The seeds are eaten by bobwhite quail. Cooperia pedunculata (giant rain lily) is similar in appearance: however, it has larger flowers, blooms in the spring and has shorter floral tubes.

Adapting to areas that are dry or have average rainfall, it would be a great addition to a cultivated landscape in beds or lawns, rock gardens and xeriscapes as well as in containers.

Neutral bluespiral On Feb 2, 2005, bluespiral from (Zone 7a) wrote:

Elizabeth Lawrence, in "A Southern Garden", wrote of the prairie lily, Cooperia pedunculata, now called Zephyranthes drummondii, "They are dead white, crystalline, and very thick petaled, and they fill the night with a strange, disturbing sweetness. To me, one of the chief delights of gardening in the South is the perfumed darkness of midsummer nights."

Neutral smiln32 On Dec 5, 2004, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

This plant sends up one large, white fragrant bloom per stem that turns pinkish as it matures. Foliage is broad and grass-like with blue-green leaves. It blooms from April to May. Good drainage is required.

Neutral smiln32 On Dec 5, 2004, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

This flower bulb sends up a solitary flower that opens straight up or at a slight angle, blooming within a few days of summer thunderstorms. It is fairly tender to severe winter conditions. Bulbs should be planted at a depth where the "neck" is just under the soil line. Plant 2" apart. Bone meal can be added at planting time to encourage growth.

Positive mbandaka On Mar 5, 2003, mbandaka wrote:

This plant is available commercially, though the white Zephs. are difficult to distinguish sometimes, as they look very much alike. There seems to be bloom time difference that are the most distinguishing trait from bulbs from different sources. The plant I grow with this name is fragrant, very fertile and makes a good show as a pot plant. In color it is perhaps slightly ivory as compared to say Z. candida.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Glendale, Arizona
Auburn, California
Mount Dora, Florida
Hinesville, Georgia
Trout, Louisiana
Liberty, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina
Conway, South Carolina
Gilbert, South Carolina
Austin, Texas (4 reports)
Beaumont, Texas
Canton, Texas
Copperas Cove, Texas
Dallas, Texas (2 reports)
Dripping Springs, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas (2 reports)
Houston, Texas
Ingleside, Texas
Lampasas, Texas
Mont Belvieu, Texas
Richmond, Texas
San Antonio, Texas

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