September 15th, 2009
GBBD 200909: Sep 2009

Zephyranthes grandiflora
Zephyranthes grandiflora, a large deep pink rainlily.

Carol at May Dreams Gardens invites us to tell her what’s blooming in our gardens on the 15th of each month.

September 2009

It rained. And rained, and rained, and rained. Between Thursday (9/10) and Sunday (9/12), Zanthan Gardens received over 7 inches of rain. We didn’t get much during the day on Friday (9/11) when it seemed to rain all around Austin but not in the center. But finally it began raining in the early evening and rained on and off all night. Then Saturday between 2:30 and 3:30 in the afternoon it suddenly poured and we got 2.6 inches in just that hour.

The skies remain gray and gloomy, the temperatures in the 60s and 70s. Summer’s grip is broken. Like a woman giving birth, we quickly forget the pain of delivery as we embrace this new life.

So much has died over the summer that my usually floriferous September has very few different kinds of flowers. It’s mostly the bulbs that stay dormant during the heat and only peek out after a rain. I’m starting to think this is the only kind of sensible plant to grow in Austin’s summer.

The rain brought out the rainlilies. I have four kinds, now: two pinks and two whites.

Zephyranthes labuffarosea
Zephyranthes ‘Labuffarosea’, a slightly smaller and paler pink rainlily. A passalong from Annieinaustin @ The Transplantable Rose

This thick-stemmed and thick-petaled white rainlily grows wild in my yard.

This small and more delicate white rainlily is a self-sown newcomer. It opened yesterday and is already beginning to curl its petals and fade today.

Podranea ricasoliana
The Podranea ricasoliana is a rampant vine which smothers everything in its path–but it’s hard to find fault with it when it’s in flower.

Podranea ricasoliana
Especially when the flowers look like this.

Pavonia hastata
Transitioning from the pinks side of the yard to the red side of the yard is the pale pavonia.

Rhodophiala bifida
But there is only one reason to visit my garden in September–oxblood lilies.

Rhodophiala bifida
And more oxblood lilies.

Rhodophiala bifida
And more oxblood lilies. I couldn’t be bothered to do anything else today but lie around looking at them.

Complete List for September

The list of all plants flowering today, September 15th 2009, at Zanthan Gardens. You can compare with GBBD September 2007 which was Austin’s unusually cool and rainy summer. I didn’t do a GBBD post in September 2008 because I was busy with work and the garden had already suffered the effects of the drought, even a year ago.

  • Duranta erecta
  • Hesperaloe parviflora
  • Hibiscus syriacus
  • Lindheimer senna
  • Malvaviscus arboreus
  • Nerium oleander ‘Turner’s Shari D.’
  • Oxalis (purple)
  • Pavonia hastata
  • Plumbago auriculata
  • Podranea ricasoliana
  • Rhodophialia bifida
  • Ruellia, the woody and the viney kind but not the passalong
  • rose ‘Ducher’
  • Tradescantia pallida/Setcreasia (purple heart) both colors
  • water lily
  • widow’s tears/true dayflower–some type of commelina
  • Zephyrathes grandiflora
  • Zephyranthes ‘Labuffarosea’
  • Zephyranthes (tiny white)
  • Zephyranthes (large white)

by M Sinclair Stevens

17 Responses to post “GBBD 200909: Sep 2009”

  1. From Diana:

    If I had that view of Oxblood lilies to gaze out upon, I wouldn’t be bothered with anything else either! They are stunning. And I am so tickled with my two clumps I’m beside myself! Happy GBBD. And you weren’t late – I was only a minute ahead of you and it’s not even midnight yet!

  2. From Pam/Digging:

    That deep-pink rain lily is eye-catching, and I’ve been enjoying Annie’s passalong ones too. I thought you’d lead with an image of the oxbloods, but you saved the best for last. I’m devoting a post to them tomorrow, but your mature stands of red trumpets are stunning.

    I thought I’d lead in with oxblood lilies, too, but because it was shady most of the day, none of the photos turned out as striking as I’ve had in previous posts. Nor would it have fit the narrative as well. If I remember correctly, we write posts in the opposite way. I write first and then take photos to illustrate the post and you take photos first and then find the story in them, right? Glad to hear that you rescued some oxblood lilies from your old garden. — mss

  3. From Tyra in Vaxholm:

    Hi there, what a lovely post on this GBBD I love your lilies (Oxblood lily). Do you know their botanican name by the way, I just want to get hold of some they are gorgeous.



    Oxblood lilies are Rhodophiala bifida. You can see more photos of them here, Oxblood Lily Day, and here (on a day the sunlight brought out the color), Garden Clogs, and here Fall Colors. — mss

  4. From Eric Hegwer:

    Rain Lillies, that’s what they are! My wife and I have been seeing them all over our North Austin Neighborhood these last two days. How beautiful. Now, Where can I find some bulbs…

    You can buy rainlilies and other Texas heirloom bulbs from The Southern Bulb Company. They are also sometimes available at local, independent nurseries. I bought the Zephyranthes grandiflora rainlilies from Gardens. — mss

  5. From Mr. McGregor's Daughter:

    You are the Johnny Appleseed of Oxblood Lilies! (Or should I just call you the Queen of Oxbloods?) They are so gorgeous in the large drifts. Thank heavens for them & the Rain Lilies. I’m so happy for you that it’s finally rained and the weather has cooled. I don’t blame you for wanting to do nothing but admire the Oxbloods from the hammock.

    Ooooh! Queen of the oxblood lilies. I like that. — mss

  6. From Shawn McBride:

    Hey MSS, I just wanted to share a couple of photos of the Oxblood Lilies you gave to me a couple of years ago:

    I’ve got three nice-sized clumps of them now, and have since passed some along to other friends & neighbors. Thanks again!

    Wow! Those are great photos! Thanks so so much for sharing. I’m happy to know that my oxblood lilies are multiplying and being shared all over Austin. — mss

  7. From Annie in Austin:

    Or if you prefer the botanical latin – Regent of the Rhodophiala?

    That photo of the immense sweep of red with lawnchair is amazing!

    It’s fun to see you enjoying the Labuffaroseas and you took such a good photo of them! I couldn’t capture pink, white or yellow rainlilies – think I’ll give up and post what came out… Happy Blooming Day!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  8. From compostinmyshoe Charleston, SC:

    Just love the shot of your Oxblood Lily. Mine are into their second flower stalks right now. Seems like the rain always makes for more flowering. Glad you have finally had some rain…..7 inches wow.

  9. From joeltheurbangardener:

    The oxblood lilies are really something!
    -Sorry about the other things that haven’t fared so well.

  10. From Linda Lehmusvirta Austin Texas:

    The oxbloods are joyous. And I’m now adding more & more rainlilies to my list. That grandiflora is grand. I’m so impressed with your list since you are “tough love” with water. Wish I could have seen it all in person, but thanks to your post, I feel like I’m there.

  11. From muhammad khabbab:

    wow wonderful blooms. i love rain lilies as they are very suitable to our climate. thanks for sharing

  12. From Carol, May Dreams Gardens:

    It’s so good to see the blooms of Austin after all the rain. My rain lilies are just about finished for the season… I grow them in pots and around the 1st frost I put them in the garage, let them dry out in the pot and leave them be until early spring, when I put them outside again.

    Love the image of you lying around enjoying the oxblood lilies, resting after your summer labor of watering!

  13. From Sylvana:

    That is quite a swath! I would love to have a sea of red like that in my autumn garden.

  14. From Cindy, MCOK:

    This time next year, they’ll be blooming in Katy, as well! It was great to visit with you on Wednesday … folks, the Oxbloods are just spectacular in person! I feel very privileged to have been there for their big show and even more so to take home some of my own!

    I’m glad you got to see them too. I’m just sorry I missed you on Friday. I was in the back cleaning out the pond filter…I didn’t hear you come by. — mss

  15. From Jenny Austin:

    I knew your garden would come back to life. How uplifting. We so enjoyed the schoolhouse lilies you gave us and the rain lilies- even though they are surrounded by barbed wire!

  16. From angelina:

    I’m so glad to hear that Austin is finally cooled down and getting some rain! Now if only your whole roof were a cistern for caught rainwater you’d be set for getting through more drought.

    Of all the lilies you’ve captured I like the wild white rain lily the best. Even though white flowers have not traditionally been my favorites.

    I took a better photo of the small white rainlily a couple of days later. I’ll have to write a separate post to use that photo. Sometimes flowers bloom a day late or too early to show off for GBBD. — mss

  17. From Jackie in Houston:

    I am so glad that I found your blog on Blotanical. Those oxblood lilies are stunning. My good fried, Chris from Southern Bulbs is coming to Houston this weekend to bring me some bulbs for my store. I am so excited to plant some more.