Endemic Plant Facts - February 2010 - Puerto Rico Zephyr Lily

Photo of the Puerto Rico Zephyr Lily
Photo © Jose Luis Fernández-Alonso

Puerto Rico Zephyr Lily, Rain Lily, Water Crocus (Eng.), (no known common Sp. name), Zephyranthes puertoricensis(Sci.), endemic species, Puerto Rico - native U.S. Virgin Islands, introduced South America (Colombia).

Information compiled by Alan Mowbray, USDA Forest Service,
El Yunque National Forest – 2010.

General Information:

Group- Monocot, Order-  Liliales, Family-  Liliaceae, Genus-  Zephyranthes, Species-  Z. puertoricensis.


The Puerto Rico Zephyr lily is a small plant, growing to 24 inches (60 centimeters) high, with white, occasionally pinkish-tinged, six-petal flowers measuring from 1 to 3 inches (2.5 to 7.6 centimeters) in diameter, blooming from July through October. Glossy, dark green, linear leaves, typically absent when the plant is flowering, up to 13 inches (35 centimeters) long and 3 inches (9 centimeters) wide. The leafless stalk (scape) can reach up to 4 inches (11 centimeters) in height , while small, flower bearing stalk-like pedicels can be as long as 2 inches (50 millimeters). The whitish-green perigone (calx and corolla combination) enclosing the outer parts of the flower typically measure up to 2 inches (50 millimeters) with a short 0.1 inch (4 millimeter) tube.


Moist, subtropical forest to 2,000 feet (600 meters), Luquillo, Cordillera Central, Puerto Rico, and similar habitat in U.S. Virgin Islands and Columbia.


There are no known threats to this species.

Additional Information:

Tropical Vegetation Specialist
USDA Forest Service
El Yunque National Forest
HC-01 Box 13490
Rio Grande, PR 00745
Telephone: 787 888 1810

Illustration/Link of the Sintenis' Holly/Ilex sintenisii
January Sintenis' Guava
Photo/Link of the Puerto Rico Zephyr Lily
February Puerto Rico Zephyr Lily
Photo/Link of the Puerto Rico Raintree
March Puerto Rico Raintree
Photo/Link of the Eugenia eggersii/Guasábara
April Eugenia eggersii
Photo/Link of the Myrica holdrigeana/Palo de Cera
May Myrica holdrigeana
Photo/Link of the Ravenia urbanii/Tortugo Prieto
June Ravenia urbanii
Photo/Link of the Saintedwood/Ternstroemia heptasepala
July Saintedwood
Photo/Link of the Schwanecke's Logwood/Palo de Candela
August Schwanecke's Logwood
Photo/Link of the Marlierea sintenisii/Buruquillo
September Marlierea sintenisii
Illustration/Link of the Melinosma obtusifolia/Arroyo
October Melinosma obtusifolia