Zephyr Flower – Zephyranthes

Known as the Zephyr Flower, the blooms being as lovely as the name of the plant. Those who know the plant fight shy of actually planting it on account of its reputation of being tender. In a sheltered position, and in a well-drained soil which is not of too heavy a nature, it will prove almost completely hardy in all districts, though where exposed to the elements it could be given a little protection over winter.

A peat mulch in early November and a light covering of straw or bracken will be ample protection, if one’s soil is unduly heavy the bulbs may be lifted during November, dried and wintered in a frost-proof room until planting-time in April. There is a species that blooms during late spring which should be planted in October. Plant the bulbs 3 in. deep and around each at planting-time place a mixture of peat and sand and some shingle if the soil is heavy.

Zephyr Flower - Zephyranthes

Being natives of the tropical areas of South America, the Zephyranthes need all the sun that they can possibly obtain, so plant with this in view and they will do well either on a rockery, in the border, or in grass. In the south they will increase quite rapidly by sowing their own seed. In the north they may be lifted every three years for dividing and replanting in April.


  • Zephyranthes Andersonii. This is a magnificent rock garden plant bearing its shiny coppery mange bloom at a height of only 5 in. At its best throughout August.
  • Z. Atamasco. Flowering in late spring and where some shading can be given, the later blooms may join up with those of Z. carinata, thus making possible a display from May until the end of October. It bears large white flowers tinged with lilac.
  • Z. candida. A most charming species especially when planted in grass or under trees where it will receive some sunshine. The flowers are of purest white with rich orange stamens and produced from a bed of grass-like leaves. In bloom throughout September and October and often until Christmas.
  • Z. carinata. A native of the West Indies and not quite so hardy as the others and so must be given some winter protection, This is one of the few small-flowering species that blooms in July, when it produces its delicately coloured shell pink blooms on 6-in. stems.

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