Atamasco Lily (Zephyranthes atamasca)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Atamasco Lily
Zephyranthes atamasca
Amaryllidaceae

None known

  • Medicinal Use

    None known

  • Edible Use

    Bulb – cooked[2, 22, 46, 61]. It is used as an emergency food when better foods are in short supply[61, 161]. The bulb is up to 3cm long[235]. Caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.

  • Cautionary Notes

    The bulb contains toxic compounds[62]. Horses are said to get the staggers (a cerebrospinal disease) from eating the leaves and bulbs[207].

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – sow spring in a greenhouse. Sow the seed thinly so that the seedlings can be left undisturbed in the pot for their first year of growth. Give them an occasional liquid feed in the growing season to ensure they do not become nutrient deficient. When the plants become dormant in the summer, pot up the small bulbs placing 2 – 3 bulbs in each pot. Grow them on for another one or two years in the greenhouse before planting them out when they are dormant in late summer. Division of offsets after the plant dies down in late spring or early summer. Larger bulbs can be planted out direct into their permanent positions whilst it is best to pot up the smaller bulbs and grow them on in the greenhouse for a year before planting them out.
Requires a position in full sun when grown outdoors in Britain and a well-drained moisture retentive soil[1, 42, 200]. It strongly dislikes excessive wet, especially in the winter[200]. Plants require a definite dry resting period in late summer, if they receive water at this time they are excited into growth and can then be killed in cold weather[120]. A very ornamental plant[1], it is hardy to about -5¡c and can succeed outdoors in the milder areas of Britain[200]. However, because it is in growth during the winter, it is generally best grown in a cold greenhouse or special bulb frame[K]. Bulbs should be planted about 10cm deep[200].
Southern N. America – Missouri and Virginia to Florida.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.