|Scientific names||Common names|
|Amaryllis carnea Schult. & Schult.f.||Cuban zephyrlily (Engl.)|
|Amaryllis rosea (Lindl.) Spreng. [Illegitimate]||Fairy lily (Engl.)|
|Atamosco rosea (Lindl.) Greene||Pink rain lily (Engl.)|
|Zephyranthes carnea (Schult. & Schult.f.) D.Dietr.||Rain lily (Engl.)|
|Zephyranthes rosea Lindl.||Rose fairy lily (Engl.)|
|Rosy rain lily (Engl.)|
|Storm lily (Engl.)|
|Zephyranthes rosea Lindl. is an accepted name The Plant List|
|Other vernacular names|
|FRENCH: Lis zéphyr rose.|
|GERMAN: Rosafarbene, Windlbume.|
|SPANISH: Duende rojo, Leli de San Jose.|
|VIETNAMESE: Tóc tiên hồng.|
General information about rain lily
Rain lily names derives from its characteristic for blooming only after heavy rains. Zephyranthes rosea literally comes from the Greek zephuros (an anemoi) and anthos (flower). Zephyros, the Greek personification of the west wind, is also associated with rainfall. The species name rosea comes from Latin for “rosy.”
Botany of rain lily
Zephyranthes rosea is a low-growing, stemless, rosette-like herb with tunicated, ovoid bulb. Leaves are grassy, shiny, linear, all basal, thick, flat, and fleshy. Scape is slightly compressed, erect, green, arising from the elongation of the bulb to flowering, slightly longer than the leaves, bearing a single flower. Perianth is pink to purple, tube is funnel-shaped, 4 centimeters long with six oblong lobes, 1 to 1.5 centimeters wide; the inner three are narrower than the somewhat spreading outer ones. Stamens are six, yellow-anthered, with filaments attached to the throat of the perianth tube. Filiform style extends into a 3-lobed stigma, towering above the stamens. Ovary is 3-celled and grows into a 3-valved capsule which is more of less globose.
Distribution of rain lily
– Found widespread at low and medium altitudes.
– Cultivated as an ornamental plant.
– Naturalized to tropical America, Asia, Australia and some Pacific Islands.
Constituents found in rain lily
– Bulbs yield lycorine, galanthamine, epimaritidine, crinamine, haemanthamine, maritidine.
– Study yielded an alkaloid, (+)-epimaritinine.
Properties of rain lily
– Toxicity: Bulbs of some Zephyranthes species contain various toxic alkaloids including lycorine and haemanthamine. They can cause vomiting, convulsions, and death to humans, livestock, and poultry. Although rain lily bulbs are considered to have low toxicity, homeowners must be aware of the poisonous potential of rainlily. (see source study )
Folkloric traditional medicinal benefits and uses of rain lily
– In China, used for treating breast cancer.
– In India, bulb extracts of Z. rosea and Z. flava used for treatment of diabetes, ear and chest ailments, and viral infections.
Scientific studies on rain lily
• Lectins / Agglutination Effect / Potential for Bacterial Typing:
102 plant extracts from 13 monocot families in Vietnam were screening for lectin activity. Zephyranthes rosea had an agglutinating effect on Staph aureus suggesting a potential for a classification scheme for bacterial typing. The tuber showed the highest lectin activity.
• (+)-epimaritidine / Alkaloid:
Study isolated (+)-epimaritidine, an alkaloid from Zephyranthes rosea. (+)-Epimaritidine comprises a missing link in the C-3 epimeric pairs of 5,10b-ethanophenanthridine alkaloids of the vittatine-haemanthamine type.
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