There is a brand new section in the Wildflowers Galleries today, and it is all about the close relative of the lily; the amaryllis family (Amaryllidaceae) of our North American native wildflowers. Because of their close genetic relations with the lily family (Liliaceae), they often have the word “lily” in their common names. The following images of native species of amaryllis I’ve photographed around the southeastern United States are proof of that. One thing all of these heat-loving beauties have in common is – they are all found growing in or next to water. Click any image to enlarge.
Called a lily – not really a lily.
The zephyr lily – also known as the atamasco or rain lily, is a gorgeous springtime white native amaryllis found throughout the American Southeast. It range reaches from Maryland to Mississippi – including any state between that borders the Atlantic Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico. They are usually found in coastal wetland areas with in or near swamps or bogs with acidic soils. This one was found growing in the Florida Panhandle just south of Tallahassee in the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge.
Coastal Carolina Spider Lily
Also known as the coastal plain spider lily, this water-loving member of the amaryllis family is found in wet, soggy soils in the American Southeast, often along streams, ponds, lakes, and rivers. This one was found next to a stream in a very remote rural forest in Grady County, Georgia on a sweltering, humid summer day.
Swamp lilies growing deep in the Fakahatchee Strand. In the summertime, these can be found just about anywhere there is standing water in the Florida Everglades.
The exotic and unusual alligator lily growing out of a swampy region in the Florida Everglades. These flowers are freshly opened, and naturally have this “ragged” edge.
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