Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

One result of rain

with 32 comments

Rain-Lily Flower 3807

One result of the week of rainy weather we’ve had in Austin is that a new crop of rain-lilies, Cooperia drummondii, has emerged. Here’s one that I photographed in Great Hills Park yesterday.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 19, 2016 at 4:55 AM

32 Responses

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  1. One of my favorite flowers.

    automatic gardener

    August 19, 2016 at 6:12 AM

    • Do you live in a place where rain-lilies are native?

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 19, 2016 at 6:26 AM

      • They will pop up now and again in the Lake Houston area. The ones I have seen have a wonderful scent.

        automatic gardener

        August 19, 2016 at 6:47 AM

        • I wasn’t aware of Lake Houston. I see there’s even a Lake Houston Wilderness Park.

          If you can find a dense colony of rain-lilies, the aroma is wonderful. I haven’t detected much from individual flowers.

          Steve Schwartzman

          August 19, 2016 at 7:10 AM

          • I am sorry to say that I don’t know exactly which species grow here, but I will research it.

            automatic gardener

            August 19, 2016 at 8:02 AM

          • You’ve probably found that Lake Houston is a reservoir, and the primary water supply for the city of Houston. During the last drought, more people knew the water level of Lake Houston than knew the latest celebrity scandal.


            August 19, 2016 at 8:32 AM

            • That most people would know anything more readily than the latest celebrity scandal surprises me.

              Steve Schwartzman

              August 19, 2016 at 12:00 PM

  2. Our rain lilies are in synch. I noticed last night that a few had popped up in the vacant lot across from me. I meant to take photos, but promptly forgot. This photo reminded me. I walked over, and found both buds and fully opened flowers. Even though there were only a couple of dozen, there were enough for that beautiful scent to be on the still air.

    Your photo’s proof that there’s always something new to see, even with the simplest flower. The bits of green — on the tip, and along the edges — are beautiful.


    August 19, 2016 at 8:25 AM

    • I’m glad you got a chance to photograph your in-sync rain-lilies, both buds and flowers (and perhaps the two together).

      I don’t think I have a great scent of smell because most individual rain-lilies don’t seem to me to have much of a scent, although one this morning did have a faint and pleasant aroma. Usually it takes a dense colony for me to notice.

      I was back out and it again with more rain-lilies this morning. Unfortunately I discovered that one stretch of Great Northern Blvd. has already had a sound wall built along it, cutting me off from the strip of land between the road and the railroad tracks where I’ve worked many times before. Given how far behind (two years and counting) the Mopac construction is, a strip further north is still in its traditional state, and I took advantage of that once more.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 19, 2016 at 11:57 AM

      • Last night in the town of Cedar Park I sniffed a rain-lily after 11 PM and found it had a pleasant scent. I wonder if the aroma might on average be stronger at night, when the flowers are fresh, than during the day.

        Steve Schwartzman

        August 22, 2016 at 8:02 AM

  3. Absolutely beautiful Steve.

    Pete Hillman

    August 19, 2016 at 10:22 AM

  4. I’ve never heard of these before–are they found mainly in the southern-states? How lovely!


    August 19, 2016 at 10:11 PM

  5. Special .. I’ve never heard of rain-lilies. So surprised we don’t have loads of them in Auckland


    August 19, 2016 at 11:44 PM

  6. They are like magic. First the rain, then the beautiful lily. I am sad to learn a wall is being built that blocks you from them. Do you have other populations to visit?


    August 20, 2016 at 8:47 AM

    • I wasn’t clear enough in my comment. The now-blocked land was good for various native species, though not especially so for rain-lilies. I did, however, find some on the not-yet-blocked strip along Great Northern Blvd. As you surmised, there are other places where I’ve found and keep finding rain-lilies, though an excellent one about a mile away from this one on the other side of Mopac is also a mess because of the construction. Whether it will recover when the construction is finished remains to be seen.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 20, 2016 at 9:14 AM

      • I guess humans have to live somewhere but it fills me with distress to see good land disappear under pavement and buildings. I just read that in Oregon they literally drew a circle around Portland,
        beyond which development is not allowed. Of course, they have moved the circle out more than once, but at least they are trying to limit sprawl. On the flip side of that, I wouldn’t want to live in increasing density that would result, either.


        August 21, 2016 at 9:01 AM

        • I’ve said the same thing, that people have to live somewhere, but I wish a portion of each developed area were left natural. That way there’d be a balance between wild and developed. The people in control of Austin’s city government have been pushing a fill-in-the-central-part-of-town approach for some years now, but that hasn’t stopped suburban towns from growing rapidly at the same time. A couple of place that had maybe a thousand people each when I became acquainted with them in the late 1970s now have at least 50,000 resident apiece and their populations are still quickly increasing.

          Steve Schwartzman

          August 21, 2016 at 9:54 AM

          • Makes me feel like I’m drowning. Also, my dad used to say that neighborhoods should be designed around a school, a grocery store and perhaps a small restaurant. As it is, we have “bedroom communities” that are no communities, and people have to get in their car to get anything.


            August 22, 2016 at 9:04 AM

            • The Great Hills neighborhood we live in is as you describe it: no stores or businesses at all in the interior of the neighborhood except for the Great Hills Country Club. The commercial buildings begin about a mile from our house, and most of the stores we normally shop at (including Sprouts, Whole Foods, Natural Grocers, and Trader Joe’s) are within three miles from home.

              Steve Schwartzman

              August 22, 2016 at 9:49 AM

  7. These are beautiful – I don’t think I have seen these before


    August 20, 2016 at 9:05 AM

  8. Always a pleasure to see the rain lily on your blog.


    August 21, 2016 at 5:52 AM

  9. No rain lilies here but we did get some rain. With luck there may be a bloom of mushrooms. This is a lovely image of a lovely flower.

    Steve Gingold

    August 22, 2016 at 6:05 AM

    • I checked the other day and found that rain-lilies don’t grow up north, so this is a wildflower you’ll have to head south to see. As far as I know, mushrooms grow everywhere. You’ve certainly documented your share.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 22, 2016 at 8:04 AM

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