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Zephyranthes carinata

Zephyranthes carinata , Photo: Michael Lahanas

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Monocots
Ordo: Asparagales

Familia: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamilia: Amaryllidoideae
Tribus: Hippeastreae
Subtribus: Hippeastrinae
Genus: Zephyranthes
Species: Zephyranthes carinata

Zephyranthes carinata Herb., Bot. Mag. 52: t. 2594. 1825.


Amaryllis carinata (Herb.) Spreng., Syst. Veg. 4(2): 132. 1827.
Pogonema carinata (Herb.) Raf., Fl. Tellur. 4: 10. 1838.
Atamosco carinata (Herb.) P.Wilson, Sci. Surv. Porto Rico & Virgin Islands (Britton & P. Wilson) 5: 159. 1923.


Amaryllis concinna R.Morris, Fl. Conspic.: t. 44. 1826.
Amaryllis lindleyana Schult. et Schult.f. in J.J.Roemer et J.A.Schultes, Syst. Veg. 7: 802. 1830.
Zephyranthes tsouii H.H.Hu, Icon. Pl. Sin. 1: 50. 1927.

Native distribution areas:

Continental: America
Mexico to Colombia

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition

Herbert, W., Bot. Mag. 52: t. 2594. 1825.


Govaerts, R. et al. 2018. Zephyranthes carinata in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2018 Aug. 01. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2018. Zephyranthes carinata. Published online. Accessed: Aug. 01 2018. 2018. Zephyranthes carinata. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2018 Aug. 01.

Vernacular names

Zephyranthes carinata, commonly known as the rosepink zephyr lily or pink rain lily,[4] is a perennial flowering plant native to Mexico, Colombia and Central America. It is also widely cultivated as an ornamental and naturalized in the West Indies, Peru, Argentina, Brazil, the southeastern United States from Texas to Florida, Zimbabwe, South Africa, China, Korea, the Ryukyu Islands, Assam, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Solomon Islands, Queensland, Society Islands, Kiribati, and Caroline Islands.[5]

Zephyranthes carinata has large bright pink flowers, around 10 cm (4 in), and green strap-like leaves. They are found naturally in moist, open areas, often near woodlands.

Like other rain lilies, their common name refers to their habit of blooming soon after a heavy rainfall. They are widely grown in gardens as annuals and as container plants, although they will overwinter in warm climates.

Zephyranthes carinata are often incorrectly referred to as Zephyranthes grandiflora, especially in horticulture.


Zephyranthes carinata grows from tunicate globular bulbs 2 to 3 cm (0.8 to 1.2 in) in diameter. The tunics are wine-red in color. Four to six linear and flattened leaves are produced by each bulb. Each is 15 to 30 cm (6 to 12 in) long and 6 to 8 mm (0.24 to 0.31 in) wide, reddish at the bases and bright green for the rest of their lengths.[2][6][7]

The funnel-shaped flowers are solitary, with pink to rose red perianths. They are borne erect or slightly inclined on scapes 10 to 15 cm (4 to 6 in) long. The deep lilac to purplish spathes are 25 to 30 mm (1.0 to 1.2 in) long. There are two lengths of the stamen filaments - 15 mm (0.6 in) and 21 mm (0.8 in). The anthers are 6 mm (0.24 in) in length. The style is filiform.[2][8]

The flowers develop into more or less spherical or three-lobed capsules. The seeds are shiny black and flattened.[7]


Zephyranthes carinata belongs to the genus Zephyranthes (rain lilies) of the tribe Hippeastreae. It is classified under the subfamily Amaryllidoideae of the Amaryllis family (Amaryllidaceae). In broader classifications, they are sometimes included within the lily family (Liliaceae).[1]

Zephyranthes carinata is often referred to as Zephyranthes grandiflora, especially in horticulture. But the former was published earlier, hence Z. grandiflora is considered superfluous and illegitimate. Another name identified as an earlier synonym of Z. carinata is now considered to be a different species - Zephyranthes minuta.[1][6][8]


Zephyranthes carinata is also known as the 'rosepink rain lily', 'rosepink magic lily', or 'pink magic lily'. Like other rain lilies, their common name refers to their habit of blooming soon after a heavy rainfall. However, cultivated specimens of Z. carinata can be induced to flower all throughout the year by maintaining humidity.[2]

They are one of the three species of rain lilies commonly known as 'pink rain lilies'. The other two are Zephyranthes rosea and Habranthus robustus. Z. rosea is a much smaller species with pink flowers that have green centers. H. robustus, on the other hand, have generally paler pink and more strongly bent flowers.[9]

Non-English common names of Z. carinata include:[1]

Chinese – Jiu lian,韭蘭(Tradition Chinese)
French – petit lis rose, lis bordures
German – großblütige, Windblume
Korean – Na-do-saf-ran
Spanish – adelfa, Corazón de Maria, duende rosado, Lágrimas de María

Distribution and habitat

Zephyranthes carinata is native to Central America, from Mexico to Colombia. They have been introduced elsewhere and have become widely naturalized.[8][10] They are usually found in open pastures and hill slopes.[2]

Zephyranthes carinata are widely cultivated as ornamentals. They are able to survive colder temperatures than other species of Zephyranthes.[2]
Chemical composition

It contains lycorine, galanthine, tazettine, haemanthamine, pretazetine, carinatine, tortuosine, trisphaeridine, hamayne and pancratistatin.[11]

Like other species of Zephyranthes, Z. carinata contain toxic alkaloids including pretazettine, carinatine, lycorine, galanthamine, and haemanthamine. If ingested, they can cause vomiting, convulsions, and death.[12]
See also

Rain lily
Zephyranthes atamasca – the Atamasco lily
Zephyranthes candida – the white rain lily
Zephyranthes puertoricensis – the Puerto Rican zephyr lily


"Zephyranthes carinata Herb". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved August 7, 2011.
José Luis Fernández-Alonso & Jeroen P. Groenendijk (2004). "A New Species of Zephyranthes Herb. S. L. (Amaryllidaceae, Hippeastreae), with Notes on the Genus in Colombia" (PDF). Rev. Acad. Colomb. Cienc. 28 (107): 177–186. ISSN 0370-3908. Retrieved August 7, 2011.
"Zephyranthes carinata Herb". Tropicos. Retrieved August 7, 2011.
"Zephyranthes carinata". European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization (EPPO). Retrieved May 20, 2021.
Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
"Zephyranthes carinata Herbert, Bot. Mag. 52: t. 2594. 1825". Flora of China, Retrieved August 7, 2011.
Pedro Acevedo-Rodríguez & Mark T. Strong (2005). "Monocotyledons and Gymnosperms of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands" (PDF). Contributions from the United States National Herbarium. Smithsonian Institution. 52: 1–415. Retrieved August 7, 2011.
Ji Zhanhe & Alan W. Meerow (2000). "Amaryllidaceae" (PDF). Flora of China (中国植物志). Science Press & the Missouri Botanical Garden. 24: 264–273. Retrieved August 7, 2011.
"Rain Lily Log - June". YuccaDo Nursery Inc. Archived from the original on September 2, 2011. Retrieved August 7, 2011.
R. Govaerts. "Zephyranthes carinata Herb". Kew Royal Botanic Gardens. Retrieved August 7, 2011.
"Katoch D and Singh B, Med Aromat Plants" (PDF).
Lucie Cahlíková; Irena Valterová; Kateřina Macáková & Lubomír Opletal (2010). "Analysis of Amaryllidaceae alkaloids from Zephyranthes grandiflora by GC/MS and their cholinesterase activity" (PDF). Brazilian Journal of Pharmacognosy (Revista Brasileira de Farmacognosia). Sociedade Brasileira de Farmacognosia. 5 (8): 1201–1204. ISSN 0102-695X. Retrieved August 7, 2011.

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