Wild pink lilies

Pink lilies sharing a pot with an aloe vera plant.

These little pink lilies grow wild in our garden. By that, I mean they choose where they want to grow. When not in bloom, they’re impossible to spot. Their long, narrow leaves blend in perfectly with grass.

A few years ago, we tried planting a few bulbs in a single pot. Just searching them out amid the grass was quite a feat, because as I’ve said, they’re practically invisible when they’re not in bloom. The plants seemed to die out, so we stuck a young aloe vera plant in the flower pot instead. Why waste an unoccupied pot, right? Then, of course the lilies started growing again. We didn’t have the heart to separate them, so the two plant varieties have co-existed in the same pot ever since.

The bulk of these lilies grow haphazardly around the garden. They’re only noticeable when they bloom, and then I wonder how the single plant found its way to the shade under the curry leaf tree, or to whichever part of the lawn it shows up in. They scatter themselves so well!

Every so often, the lilies start blooming. Then, we get brilliant surprises like this:

The biggest unplanned cluster of wild lilies growing in our garden.

The above patch is totally unplanned. When I see them like this, though, I want to dig them up and make a patch of them – but I’ve tried that a few times before and they stubbornly refuse to grow for me. I guess they choose where they want to grow…

Don't they just look so cheerful?

I have no idea what the proper name is for these lilies, but they have been around since my grandparents’ time and I like them!

© 2011 curiousgardener.com All rights reserved.

$1.99 Domains* at GoDaddy.com



Wild pink lilies — 6 Comments

  1. Good evening Curious Gardener,
    I’ve got about 100 of these in my garden – in the lawn – so I moved them to a bank where they looked great about two months ago. There are still some in the lawn.
    You are correct they are part of the Lily family, but Allium genus, and I cannot decide if they are allium cyathophorum, or allium mairei.
    Taste a bit of leaf and the onion flavour will give it’s genus away.

    • I am pretty sure your beautiful lilies are “rain lilies”. They are small relatives of amaryllis in the Zephyranthes genus. There are lots of different species. Yours look like Z. rosea. A similar genus is Habranthus. They are both small plants that bloom intermittantly in the tropics. Thanks for sharing yours!

  2. If they emit an onion flavor, they could belong to the Chives family as I have seen blade-like leaves like these with white flowers. Nurseries label them as Chives, much like the chinese chives that we eat. Don’t know if these are edible but I do have chinese chives but the flowers come in a round, white cluster, then the seeds come later on.

  3. You both intrigued me enough to go and break off a bit of leaf. No onion smell, just normal broken greenery. So I’m still unsure what kind of lily it is. I do know it’s been in the garden for a very long time, and my mum said there was a white version, too.
    Miki, the leaves are a little broader and flatter than chives – about 5mm across, and not very contoured. In comparison, the leaves of the chives I’ve got growing are narrower and more rounded.

  4. Hi -
    Don’t know what to tell you, just don’t eat them! ; -) . As to size, I hv found that when planted in the ground, they have longer and wider blades; in a pot, they are kinda scrawny but taste the same. The white flower clusters are pretty, too, very much like onion flowers but a lot smaller. Whatever, I am just thankful when any plant survives and the cold spells sure don’thelp any.

    • Don’t worry, Miki, I’m not going to try eating something I’m unsure of! Just wish these lilies would grow for me when I transplant them :(