The Woods are Alive with Atamasco Lilies

It’s that time, again.

So much is happening in the spring woods in March. There are a lot of wildflowers coming into bloom! Some are so small, or well camouflaged, that you have to look closely to see them. I always look forward to the day that I walk in the woods and spot something pure white glowing in the distance. Today was that special day! Atamasco lily, or more correctly, Zephyranthes atamasca, is a rainlily that is native to the southeastern United States. They prefer to grow in wet or swampy areas near creek banks, although I see them scattered throughout the woods, even under mature oak trees. Their blooms are brief (I’ve written before about fleeting spring ephemerals), but glorious while they last. I’ve tried to grow plants that I purchased at a garden center. I haven’t had much success. These wildflowers perform much, much better growing in the woods, without help from human hands. When buying, make certain that all native plants purchased are nursery propagated and not wild collected. And, of course, preserve our native habitats by not digging atamasco lily, or any native plants, in the wild for your home garden. Leave them in the woods and let everyone enjoy their pure white blooms and vibrant green foliage. Oh, Spring! I do love your show!

All photos taken by me March 2016


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