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Habranthus robustus

Habranthus robustus
Growing in our Texas garden, surrounded by partridge peas
Argentine rain lily
Our Pennsylvania potted specimen

Synonym(s) Zephyranthes robusta
Common name Argentine rain lily
Family amaryllidaceae
Life cycle perennial (Z8-10)
Flowers pink (summer)
Size 8-10"
Light sun-part shade
From seed germinate at room temperature; self-seeds sparingly in our garden
detailed seed-starting info below

In Pennsylvania, I didn't fuss much with tender bulbs, but I made an exception for this one, to see if it would live up to the raves. Grown from seed one year, it overwintered in a pot in our garage, and didn't pose too much trouble. Probably due to its cramped quarters, combined with lack of fertilizing, it didn't make a magnificent display, but I was pleased to see its soft-pink flower appear suddenly one day in early July.
Fast forward a good number of years, and we find ourselves transplanted from Pennsylvania to Texas, where these bulbs are perfectly hardy. I grew a new batch from seed, and was rewarded in the years following with a good number of sturdy plants (they multiply, too). The flowers are somewhat different in form from the ones I'd seen in Pennsylvania, with a floppier (handkerchief-like) habit and pointier petals. Looking at internet photos, there does seem to be a good bit of variability in flower form. They start blooming a little later than many other rain lilies in our garden, but make a nice splash when they're finally ready, typically sometime in May – after which they flower sporadically throughout the warm season. I appreciate the many flowers they throw at me.

Habranthus robustus
Happily living in the rock garden
Argentine rain lily
A few flowers among many seedheads
Habranthus robustus
In full bloom in late May, first flush of the season
Argentine rain lily
Four days later, the show is over. The aftermath has its own charm.
Habranthus robustus
Five days later: plump seedheads
Argentine rain lily
Two weeks later: ripened seedheads spilling their contents
Habranthus robustus
Each seed pod splays open to reveal rows of tightly packed flat black seeds

In our garden, this plant grows in the following areas: back fence border, Houston rock garden, foundation border, houston front yard

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Seed-starting details for this plant

  1. Seed from HPS/MAG '05/'06 exchange. Baggy 70F (100%G, 7-12d)
  2. Same seed as above. Baggy 65F (60%G, 6-14d)
  3. Seed from NARGS '17/'18 exchange. Baggy 70F (88%G, 4-10d)
  4. Same seed as above. Baggy 70F (71%G, 5-14d)
  5. Same seed as above. Baggy 70F (55%G, 5-10d)
  6. Seed from '20 garden. Baggy 70F (100%G, 9-12d)
  7. Same seed as above. Baggy 70F (72%G, 8-13d)

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