Saturday, 2 February 2013

Storm lilies

After the rain the storm lilies bloom prolifically. Whether it is the rain or the change in air pressure that
encourages the plants to flower I do not know, but it certainly happens. Here in Darwin we have pink and white varieties, but the pink is far more common. Just about every household grows storm lilies at some time.  Storm lilies do not last long if you pick them for inside.

The proper name is zephyranthes, and they belong to the amaryllis family.

Storm lilies grow really well outside the fence.
These plants will bloom all year round and they need very little attention. I grew them outside my fence to stop animals from digging under and out. It also prevented papers and litter from blowing into my yard.

The flowers are funnel shaped and have six petals. There are five anthers and one stamen. They resemble a crocus in many ways. There seems to be no perfume. The bulbs look like white drops about 2cm long. It is easy to separate clumps of bulbs and they will nearly all grow. They prefer full sun and thicken into clumps very quickly. The leaves are long slender straps and are dark green like healthy soft grass. They grow to about 30cm high, but this can depend on the location.

Years ago when I was teaching in a preschool a caring mother brought in a huge supply of storm lilies she had removed from her garden. She said they were to share among the staff and to use them anywhere we wanted, at the preschool or at home. At lunchtime one of the assistants carefully cut about twenty of the bulbs into slices and ate them on a sandwich. I guess they are not poisonous at all!!

1 comment:

  1. Oh gosh that is funny about someone eating the bulbs. they are really pretty.


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