Rare, Threatened and Endangered Plant Fact Sheets

Atamasco Lily

photograph of Atamasco Lily  

Atamasco Lily, Zephranthes atamasco
Photograph by R.H. Wiegand

The Atamasco Lily, Zephranthes atamasco, went undetected in our State until it was discovered in flower in 1989. In Maryland, this species has been found at only one site on the lower Eastern Shore. Other names for this species are the Wild Easter Lily or Rain Lily. According to folklore, the flower can be seen blooming in large numbers after spring showers.

This flower is predominately a southern species, rare in Maryland and northern Virginia, but more common through the Carolinas to Alabama. The preferred habitat for the Atamasco Lily is moist meadows or wet open woods. The leaves and bulb of this flower are reported to be poisonous.

This species is protected as an Endangered species in the State of Maryland.