Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

With the rain came rain-lilies

with 31 comments

Rain-Lily Colony Flowering 8385

Click for greater clarity and considerably larger size.

On Friday, September 20th, Austin finally got several inches of rain. A few days later, right on schedule, up came the rain-lilies, Cooperia drummondii. On September 23rd and 25th I went to a place that had a pretty good colony of those flowers, which I portrayed in various ways. During my second visit a man saw me photographing and came over to tell me he knew of an even better colony not far away. That’s how I ended up on Ridge Oak Dr. at Perry Ln., where I took this panoramic picture.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 22, 2013 at 6:00 AM

31 Responses

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  1. This is colossal!!!

    Agnes Plutino

    October 22, 2013 at 6:06 AM

    • I’ll agree with you Agnes. The place that I mentioned going to first is the one you know well, across the street from the Perry Ln. entrance to Camp Mabry.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 22, 2013 at 8:03 AM

  2. awesome !

    gwenniesgarden

    October 22, 2013 at 6:26 AM

  3. Those would be a nice find after a rain. How tall? Are they fragrant?

    Jim in IA

    October 22, 2013 at 7:25 AM

    • Typically these get to be about a foot tall, but shorter and longer ones are possible. Each flower has only a faint scent, but en masse they can fill the surrounding air with quite a fragrance.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 22, 2013 at 8:10 AM

  4. If I were you, I will love to get some seeds to grow more of them!

    myfoodandflowers

    October 22, 2013 at 7:45 AM

    • I see their black seeds often enough, but I’m not a gardener, so I don’t know how easy it is to cultivate rain-lilies.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 22, 2013 at 8:11 AM

      • They’re little bulbs. You can dig up a few, plant them and the bulbs will multiply. Be sure to dig deep enough to get the whole bulb. They’re very easy to cultivate. You can find them potted up in nurseries that sell native plants. If you’re lucky, you can also find them in pink and salmon.

        Kathryn

        October 22, 2013 at 10:08 AM

      • It is fairly easy, collect more their black seeds and sprinkle them on sunny spot outdoors or grow them indoor over winter, most of rain lilies they have tiny bulbs under the soil, their leaves sometimes just look like garlic chive!

        I will grow some indoor if I had seeds. 🙂 — There are not much to do when winter comes…

        myfoodandflowers

        October 22, 2013 at 10:47 AM

  5. Fantastic patch of lilies. Nice man to share their location with you.

    Steve Gingold

    October 22, 2013 at 7:25 PM

    • Yes, he was. In any case, it wasn’t a zero-sum game, and just as I arrived, so did another photographer, who stayed as long as I did (though he was older, had trouble with his back, and took many fewer photographs).

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 22, 2013 at 8:56 PM

  6. I’ll bet this was a site to see!

    norasphotos4u

    October 22, 2013 at 8:28 PM

    • I can’t resist saying that the site was a sight to see, all right. I spent at least an hour there, taking pictures from many different distances and angles.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 22, 2013 at 8:58 PM

  7. It’s amazing how they form precisely a visual rain-like pattern.

    M. Firpi

    October 22, 2013 at 8:55 PM

    • I like the way you see the rain-lilies as if they themselves were falling rain. You have a good imagination.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 22, 2013 at 8:59 PM

  8. Wow! I’ve never seen one, but I’m sure the rain lilies would just make me crazy!

    montucky

    October 22, 2013 at 9:24 PM

  9. lovely

    sedge808

    October 22, 2013 at 11:20 PM

  10. Wow!

    tanjabrittonwriter

    April 26, 2019 at 10:25 PM

    • That’s how I felt. This was one of the best rain-lily colonies I ever saw. I keep hoping I’ll find one like this again but for the last few years I’ve seen no dense colonies at all.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 26, 2019 at 11:10 PM

      • I hope you will happen across another similarly spectacular patch at one point!

        tanjabrittonwriter

        April 27, 2019 at 10:01 PM

        • Me too. A plot of land where I used to count on seeing a good rain-lily colony each spring got messed up during construction of an adjacent highway about five years ago. The construction ended a year or two ago but so far only a few of the rain lilies and other flowers have returned. Maybe someday…

          Steve Schwartzman

          April 28, 2019 at 6:57 AM

  11. I’m still wowed by that floral eruption. 🙂

    tanjabrittonwriter

    August 31, 2021 at 4:31 PM


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