May 05, 2013

THE ROSE RAIN LILY


A RIOT OF PINK

The Rose Rain Lily
While the temperatures have kept soaring, the rain gods have been kind enough to bless Bengaluru with showers on a regular basis - a temporary relief from the scorching summer heat. And with downpours hitting the city once every ten days, the rain lilies have been a common sight, adding more colours to the 'Garden-City'. Our landlords - the Shenoys who have several different kinds of flowering and ornamental plants at home have a pot full of Rose Rain Lily bulbs kept at the entrance. While the white ones that my mom had planted had flowered in the beginning of April itself after the first showers, I was wondering what was wrong with their more prettier counterparts. The long wait finally ended in the last week of the month as nearly ten buds bloomed at once, truly an awesome sight. As I leave for office by 7 am in the morning and reach home about 12 hours later, I did not have a chance to click these wonderful florets to my heart's content. However, the opportunity came one fine morning as I decided to go late to office having spent the previous night with Da and Bhabi at their residence in Indiranagar following a team dinner.

Zephyranthes Rosea

Except for the colour, I did not find much difference between the two species i.e. the whites (Link) and the rose pinks. The floral morphology  is more or less the same. The pink hue is darker around the edge of the petals and then lightens towards the center. The bottom part of the petals, especially on the outer side is white and the contrast it provides with the light greenish receptacle is mesmerizing. It seems as if the Z. Rosea flowers are a little smaller in size when compared those of the Z. Candida. Also, the whites seem to be grown more commonly, at least here in Bengaluru where both are non-native, exotic plants. Probably, the best way to difference between them, if not the florets is the leaf structure. The leaves of the whites are thinner, cylindrical in shape and look like straw whereas those of the rose lilies are broad, flat and sickle-shaped.

Z. Rosea

For more on the Rain Lilies:
The White Rain Lily (Link)