Habranthus robustus

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Habranthus robustus
Habranthus robustus (1).jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Amaryllidoideae
Genus: Habranthus
Species: H. robustus
Binomial name
Habranthus robustus
Herb. ex Sweet
  • Amaryllis berteroi Spreng.
  • Amaryllis robusta (Herb. ex Sweet) Sweet ex Steud.
  • Atamasco taubertiana (Harms) Greene
  • Habranthus berteroi (Spreng.) M.Roem.
  • Zephyranthes robusta (Herb. ex Sweet) Baker
  • Zephyranthes taubertiana Harms
  • Zephyranthes taubertii Harms

Habranthus robustus, commonly known as the Brazilian copperlily, pink fairy lily or the pink rain lily, is a species of herbaceous flowering bulb. It is native to Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay,[2] but is now naturalized in Florida, Colombia, South Africa, and Mauritius.[3][4]


Habranthus robustus are relatively large rain lilies. They grow from ovate to obovate bulbs around 3.5 to 5 cm (1.4 to 2.0 in) in diameter.[5]

They bear solitary lavender to pale pink, funnel-shaped flowers, 5–6 cm (2.0–2.4 in) long, held at a slight angle on 15–30 cm (5.9–11.8 in) scapes,[2] with a leaf-like bract 1.8–4 cm (0.71–1.57 in) long at the base. Flowers typically appear after rain from late summer to early fall and are followed by large deep green leaves, measuring 5 to 10 mm (0.20 to 0.39 in) wide and 30 to 40 cm (12 to 16 in) long.[6]

Taxonomy and nomenclature[edit]

H. robustus from Florida.
H. robustus have declineate slightly asymmetrical flowers.

Habranthus robustus belongs to the genus Habranthus (rain lilies) of the tribe Hippeastreae. It is classified under the subfamily Amaryllidoideae of the Amaryllis family (Amaryllidaceae). In broader classifications, they are sometimes included within the lily family (Liliaceae).[1]

It was formerly classified under the genus Zephyranthes as Zephyranthes robusta, a name still used incorrectly by merchants and hobbyists.

Habranthus robustus is commonly known as the 'pink fairy lily', 'pink rain lily', 'pink zephyr lily', 'pink magic lily', 'pink fawn lily', and 'Colombiaanse mini-amaryllis'. It is known as cebollita in Spanish.

Habranthus robustus are commonly sold as Zephyranthes robusta by merchants, an incorrect synonym.[7] Due to having the same common names, it is also frequently confused with other 'pink rain lilies' - namely Zephyranthes rosea and Zephyranthes carinata (also sold under the name Zephyranthes grandiflora). The three species are often mislabeled, but H. robustus is easily recognizable from the other two by its larger, more strongly bent (and often asymmetrical), paler pink flowers.[8] H. robustus also have leaves covered with a fine grayish waxy coating (glaucous) in contrast to the leaves of Z. carinata.[6]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Habranthus robustus is believed to have originated from Rio Grande do Sul of Brazil. It is native to Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay, and is widely naturalized elsewhere.[6]

Cultivation and uses[edit]

Habranthus robustus is widely grown as an ornamental. It is one of the most prolific of the summer flowering rain lilies.They are propagated by dividing the bulbs (including offsets) and from seed. They aren't as tolerant of colder temperatures as other rain lilies.[7]


Similar to the closely related species of Zephyranthes, H. robustus contains toxic alkaloids. Mainly galanthamine-type alkaloids which can be lethal for humans.[9]


  1. ^ a b "Habranthus robustus Herb.". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved August 7, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Mathew, Brian (1987), The Smaller Bulbs, London: B.T. Batsford, ISBN 978-0-7134-4922-8 , p. 101
  3. ^ Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  4. ^ Biota of North America Program
  5. ^ Anderson Alves-Araújo; Julie Henriette Antoinette Dutilh; Marccus Alves (2009). "Amaryllidaceae s.s. e Alliaceae s.s. no Nordeste Brasileiro" (PDF). Rodriguésia (in Portuguese). Instituto de Pesquisas Jardim Botânico do Rio de Janeiro. 60 (2): 311–331. ISSN 0370-6583. Retrieved August 7, 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c José Luis Fernández-Alonso; Jeroen P. Groenendijk (2004). "A New Species of Zephyranthes Herb. S. L. (Amaryllidaceae, Hippeastreae), with Notes on the Genus in Colombia" (PDF). Rev. Acad. Colomb. Cienc. 28 (107): 177–186. ISSN 0370-3908. Retrieved August 7, 2011. 
  7. ^ a b Gary W. Knox (2005). "Rainlily, Zephyranthes and Habranthus spp.: Low Maintenance Flowering Bulbs for Florida Gardens" (PDF). ENH1151. Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension, University of Florida. Retrieved August 7, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Rain Lily Log - June". YuccaDo Nursery Inc. Retrieved August 7, 2011. 
  9. ^ Lucie Cahlíková; Irena Valterová; Kateřina Macáková; Lubomír Opletal (2010). "Analysis of Amaryllidaceae alkaloids from Zephyranthes grandiflora by GC/MS and their cholinesterase activity" (PDF). Brazilian Journal of Pharmacognosy (Revista Brasileira de Farmacognosia). Sociedade Brasileira de Farmacognosia. 5 (8): 1201–1204. ISSN 0102-695X. Retrieved August 7, 2011. 

External links[edit]