Will the real Zephyranthes citrina please stand up

Mary Sue Ittner msittner@mcn.org
Mon, 08 Nov 2004 19:14:04 PST
Dear Joe,

I'm not a rain lily expert. Most of them aren't happy in my climate 
although I found that Zephyranthes candida growing in the same pot with my 
Meyer lemon and getting drip irrigation every day and citrus fertilizer is 
finally in its element. It has been in flower for more than 3 months now.

I've looked through my archives to see what I could find on Z. citrina. 
There is this from Paul Niemi in a post about this genus:
"Yellow is very common as well, being represented by Z. pulchella, Z. 
reginae, Z. citrina, forms of Z. katherinae, Z. smallii, Z. jonesii, Z. 
flavissima and others.  Interestingly, the majority of the yellow species 
are prone to be either apomictic or parthenogenic (older terms that may 
have been replaced by more modern terminology) tendencies and will 
generally reproduce true-to-type regardless of what pollen is applied to 
the stigma."

Paul Tyerman asked for the difference between Z. flavissima and Z. citrina 
and Paul Niemi responded with this:
"Z. flavissima is closely related to Z. candida, Z. minima and Z. stellaris 
(these 4 are sometimes grouped in the subgenus 'Argyropsis'). Side by side 
Z. flavissima and Z. citrina are easily discernable. The former probably 
(under ideal conditions) has a longer bloom season with
smaller flowers and a very small & delicate stigma. It clumps more readily 
than does Z. citrina, has narrower foliage with a brighter green color 
(more akin to the foliage of Z. candida) and prefers moister, even 
waterlogged conditions; it is also at times reluctant to set seed. Z.
citrina is a larger plant with considerably larger bulbs, slower to offset, 
very adept at setting seed with larger flowers and it prefers dryer 
conditions and it tends to bloom later in the season. There is some 
difference in flower color but I don't believe it is a drastic color. Z. 
flavissima is much more difficult to locate whereas Z. citrina is found 

Plants called Z. citrina were also called Z. sulphurea, but that doesn't 
appear to be a valid name. A number of people were selling something they 
called Z. citrina in 2000. I don't know if any of this will help answer 
your question.

Mary Sue

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