Atamasco-Lily

By William T. Hathaway

Atamasco-Lily (Zephyranthes atamasco)

The Atamasco-Lily is also known as the “Easter-Lily.” Since the species isn't a true lily, its name is hyphenated. Actually, the plant is a member of the Amaryllis family and not the Lily family. According to Gray's Manual of Botany, the plant's generic name Zephyranthes is from the Greek zephyros (west), and anthos (flower). Atamasco is an aboriginal name.

The outstanding, funnelform white flowers are often suffused with a purplish tinge. This perennial herb has several linear basal leaves and a bulbous rootstock. It is a flower primarily of the lower Piedmont. Locally, I have found it only in a low sandy field along the Dan River, a short distance downstream from the end of the Vandola Road.



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