Sunday, July 19, 2015

Atamasco Lily

Last March at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge on the Florida Panhandle, Erika and I were impressed by the Atamasco (or Rain) Lilies. These colony-forming wildflowers grew along the roadsides. The flower and grass-like leaves grow from an onion-like bulb. They are native to, and common in, the southeast, and, along with wet roadsides, favor damp woodlands. The leaves and bulbs of this plant are poisonous (Wildflowers of Alabama). Zephyrus, the generic name, alludes to Zephryus, who "in Greek myth [was] the west wind and husband of Chloris, goddess of flowers” (Wildflower.org). Atamasco is a Native American word for the red stain that often is seen on the flowers.

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