Monday, June 1, 2009

Zephyranthes citrina

Our love affair began, almost serendipitously, when this long blade of ‘grass’ took root in one of our pots. Before we could make up our mind if it was a weed or not, we were rewarded by a bright yellow flower.

The six petals in two whorls of three each proclaimed it to be a member of the lily family, but my father decided to name her ‘Buttercup’, and the name stayed.

The next flower took months coming, but since we knew what the plant was capable of, we let it stay.

The first couple of years, we got between three to four flowers a year – each eagerly anticipated and admired. Then one year, there was a profusion of flowers – close to a dozen of them tossing their bright yellow heads all at the same time.

That was also the year when we harvested seeds – none of which, unfortunately, took root at my place. The next year, thirty flowers bloomed at the same time, and I took home more seeds.

One, and only one, took root, and a solitary flower bloomed on Mothers’ Day. I am hoping there are more flowers next year.

Incidentally, though we will continue to call her Buttercup, she is actually Lily – Yellow Rain Lily, Zephyranthes citrina. And, my mother's are still the best.

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