Habranthus Species, Copper Lily, Rain Lily, Rainlily, Rio Grande Copperlily, Stagger Grass

Habranthus tubispathus

Family: Amaryllidaceae (am-uh-ril-id-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Habranthus (ha-BRAN-thus) (Info)
Species: tubispathus (too-bee-SPA-thus) (Info)
Synonym:Habranthus parvulus
Synonym:Zephyranthes texana
Synonym:Zephyranthes tubispathus
View this plant in a garden




Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade




Foliage Color:



12-18 in. (30-45 cm)


Unknown - Tell us


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)

Where to Grow:

Can be grown as an annual


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bright Yellow

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Little Rock, Arkansas

West Palm Beach, Florida

Decatur, Georgia

New Orleans, Louisiana

Vacherie, Louisiana

Liberty, North Carolina

Austin, Texas(2 reports)

Dale, Texas

Houston, Texas

Huntsville, Texas

La Grange, Texas

Missouri City, Texas

Muldoon, Texas

New Braunfels, Texas

San Antonio, Texas(2 reports)

San Augustine, Texas

Spring Branch, Texas

Victoria, Texas

Willis, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 3, 2018, JennysGarden_TN from Collierville, TN wrote:

It is now blooming in my zone 7b garden.


On Sep 18, 2015, Fires_in_motion from Vacherie, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

I can't talk much about growing them, but I can say they are very common here along the Mississippi River levee in my part of Louisiana, particularly on the lower parts of the levees where there is always a ditch running parallel to the road. (Which is where I dug mine up, since I've never seen them for sale in any store or at any plant show.) Even by Habranthus / Zepheranthes standards, the plant has a tiny amount of green foliage. Luckily it flowers all throughout the summer here, and the blooms are quite bold. These levees are mowed often, which may contribute to re-blooming. Another place to find them is in City Park in New Orleans, where they grow wild, particularly near Tad Gormley Stadium / N.O. Botanical Garden.


On Aug 28, 2013, Limestonelin from SPRING BRANCH, TX wrote:

We found about 6 of these delightful little plants growing wild in the shade under very old, large native trees on our property in the hill country. We have planted the seeds in a pot while still fresh and found that they germinate well. I have never seen them under cultivation or growing wild anywhere else. I envy those who have many of them.


On Apr 27, 2008, dmj1218 from west Houston, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Habranthus tubispathus is a variable species with members in both South and North America.

Habranthus tubispathus var tubispathus (or SA form) is the shorter, most commonly occurring form of this species.This delightful yellow species is the South American cousin of the native Texas variation. The flowers usually appear before the foliage in early summer and bloom off and on until fall. This species is easy to care for and seems to thrive on neglect in full sun with average rainfall. This is a much shorter blooming variation than Habranthus tubispathus var texensis and is actually the form found most often naturalized in the lawns and abandoned fields, etc. in the state of Texas.

Habranthus tubispathus var texensis is definitely the most beautiful variation o... read more


On Jul 28, 2006, aprilwillis from Missouri City, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

The flowers are very pretty but unlike other habranthus this one seems to flower much less frequently and seem less vigorous to me. Still it's worth planting.


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

I have not grown this plant so I can't give it a rating. Copper lily is also known as Rio Grande copperlily and Texas Atamasco lily. It is a native perennial rain lily that inhabits Florida, Louisiana, Texas and South America (Argentina and Uruguay). In Texas, it can be found in gravely sand, clay and calcareous soils in the South Texas Plains and Edwards Plateau regions. It is the only plant of its genus to grow in Texas. It inhabits grasslands, prairies and disturbed areas.

Copper lily has a grass-like shape and grows between 6 and 12 inches tall. The dull green, grass-like, linear leaves are smooth, very narrow, thick and are usually about 9 inches and 1/4 inch wide. They appear after flowers has withered. This bulb produces solitary stems with single funnel-shaped flowe... read more


On Jun 26, 2004, MizD from Lufkin, TX wrote:

These tiny blooms are always a welcome surprise...we never know where they'll pop up! Bloom last about a day, then form seed pods of thin black seeds which scatter when ripe. Foliage is a clump of grass-like leaves. Easy to transplant. Usually bloom during rainy spells --Spring, Summer, Fall.


On Mar 1, 2003, mbandaka wrote:

This plant came to me as variety 'texensis' I don't know if that is correct or not. I have two clones, one is extrememly self fertile and set lots of seed (which will sometimes bloom the second season after sowing!)-the other clone does not set seed. The flower is exactly as shown in the photo, striped with bronze or purple(however your eye interprets the color), nodding slightly, and never opening flat. Should be fun to cross with white or pink zephs. There is another variety called 'roseus' that is definitely pink (it opens with yellow tints that fade as the flower matures), it is also a great plant but perhaps not as vigorous as 'texensis.' I have had pots of texas copper lily in full bloom, without any leaves apparent, that were stunning (50 flowers in a 10 inch pot),unfortunately th... read more