Zephranthes candida

Zephranthes candida – Rain Lily

Crocus-like white flowers rise above grass-like foliage in late summer and autumn.


This is a bulbous perennial, in the Amaryllis family, that grows to about 20 cm. The flowers are a particularly brilliant white. The English name derives from this plant’s habit of flowering after heavy rain. It is slow to bulk up and sulks when moved or divided. It is not fully hardy, but thrives in Karin’s Garden where it is actually evergreen.


Z. candida is native to central South America, including; Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Brazil; though it has naturalised in many places around the world. In the wild it is found along rivers and in marshes where it gets year round rainfall except for a brief period in late summer.

Soil / Aspect:

This is one of those plants that is said to require the impossible combination of moist and well-drained soils! Certainly it does not like prolonged winter-wet, and grows well in a rock-garden. Once established it is a reasonable tolerant of a range of conditions. It does need plenty of sun to flower well; though full-on, all-day, north-facing sun in Karin’s Garden does seem to be a bit more than it really likes.


I cannot find any references to pest or disease problems though in our garden it seems to benefit from some slug protection. Propagation is by lifting and pulling the bulbs apart, though this should be done reluctantly as flowering is then restricted for two to three years.