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Products > Zephyranthes candida
Zephyranthes candida - Fairy Lily
Image of Zephyranthes candida
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Bulb/Tuber/Rhizome etc.
Family: Amaryllidaceae (Onions)
Origin: Argentina (South America)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: White
Bloomtime: Summer/Fall
Synonyms: [Amaryllis candida]
Height: 1 foot
Width: 1-2 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 15-20 F
Zephyranthes candida (Fairy Lily) - This is a bulb with evergreen, rush-like foliage that forms a 1 foot tall and 2 feet wide clump. In the late summer and fall, white tubular flowers with six petals and yellow stamens, bloom on stems that are as tall as the foliage.

Grow in sun or part shade in most any soil and water regularly or allow soil to dry slightly between irrigations to induce flowering. A very hardy plant that will die down and reportedly survive temperatures as low as 0 degrees F but is evergreen in milder climate areas with temperatures no colder than the high teens. This versatile plant can be used in mass plantings, in rock gardens, as a container plant or partially submerged in the water garden.

Zephyranthes candida is native to marshes and bogs from Paraguay, Chile, Uruguay and Argentina. In Argentina it lines both shores along the Rio de la Plata (River of Silver) and it is these flowers that gives the river this name. The name for the genus has Greek origins as Zephyrus is the name for the Greek god of the west wind and 'anthos' means "flower" so a literal translation is "flowers of the western wind" and is in reference to the way the flowers on their slender stems dance in a wind. The specific epithet 'candida' means "pure white' or "shining white", referring to the color of the flowers. The common names used include Fairy Lily, Peruvian swamp-lily, White Zephyr Lily and Rain Lily, for their habit of flowering after rains, and it apparently is also called Dwarf Onion when sold for aquarium or terrarium use. This plant was first described by John Lindley in 1823 as Amaryllis candida but was transferred to its current genus in 1826 by William Herbert who later suggested that it might best be segregated to another genus for its many differences to other Zephyranthes species. In the past it has since been renamed to Plectronema candida (1838), Argyropsis candida (1847), Atamasco candida (1928) but these names have not stuck and for nearly a century this plant has remained known as Zephyranthes candida. We have grown this attractive plant since 1986. 

This information about Zephyranthes candida displayed on this web page is based on research we have conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations we have made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens visited, as well how our crops have performed in containers in the nursery field. Where appropriate, we will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share cultural information that would aid others in growing this plant.