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Habranthus tubispathus v.roseus (syn salmoneus)

Habranthus tubispathus v.roseus (syn salmoneus)

The ‘Rain Lilies’ include both the Habranthus and Zephyranthes, and as a result the names are often mixed up. This species is often mis-sold as the much harder-to-find Habranthus gracilifolius, but they are different species and may be generally distinguished because the latter rarely sets seed, whereas this beauty tends to self-seed very profusely.

The Rain Lilies originate across an area that spans from Texas and the southern USA, down to Argentina, and each species has its own requirements, but almost all are pretty easy to grow. They almost thrive on neglect and need to dry out at least a little bit between waterings. The name ‘Rain Lily’ comes from the fact that the flowers emerge, usually very quickly, after a heavy rain. For this reason they can flower multiple times per year in cultivation when they growing conditions are most favorable.

Although these do not tolerate frost, they can take coolish weather in winter and are wonderful plants for a window-sill or balcony.

This particular species is generally regarded as a pink form of the species, but there are some that believe it is a distinct species or that it may be a hybrid. It is sometimes sold as Habranthus salmoneus.

The flowers are pretty but sadly short-lived, often coming and going within a week. The plus point is that they will come back in several ‘flushes’ over the year as the bulbs go through repeated cycles of drenching and drying out. A well-drained medium is preferred, and it is important to avoid water-logging. Height to about 20cm, with narrow grassy foliage emerging from the bulb, often disappearing in dry spells and returning after flowering.

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