Zephyranthes simpsonii

Zephyranthes simpsonii Inflorescence
Common Name: rain lily 
Type: Bulb
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Native Range: Southeastern United States
Zone: 7 to 10
Height: 0.75 to 1.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: February to May
Bloom Description: White to pink
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Naturalize, Rain Garden
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Wet Soil


Best grown in evenly moist, peaty or sandy, well-draining soils in full sun. Does not tolerate being shaded by other vegetation. Hardy in Zones 7b(5-10°F)-10. Does best with a winter mulch in the colder end of its hardiness range.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Zephyranthes simpsonii, commonly called Simpson's rain lily, Simpson's zephyr lily, or red margin zephyr lily, is a herbaceous, bulbous perennial native to peaty or sandy pastures, mowed roadsides, and pine savannas in the coastal plain of the southeastern United States. The linear, grass-like foliage can reach around 10-12" long. The 1-1.5" long flowers are white to tinged pink, upright, funnel-shaped and held on a 7-10" long scape. The main bloom period occurs from late winter through spring. This plant will naturalize slowly and form small colonies.

Genus name comes from the Greek words zephyros meaning "the west wind" and anthos meaning "flower" because it is native of the Western hemisphere.

The specific epithet simpsonii honors James H. Simpson (1813–1883), a brigadier general in the United States Army and member of the Corps of Topographical Engineers (later the Corps of Engineers).


No known pest or disease problems. This plant is rare in its native habitat and should only be purchased from reputable nurseries that do not sell plants collected from the wild.


Meadows, rain gardens, swales, border fronts, or other open areas with low vegetation. Suitable for use in containers. Will also naturalize in lawns, but be sure not to mow when the plants are in bloom.