Worth the Wait

A recent stroll in the back garden revealed surprises and eagerly awaited gifts. My one and only WinecupCallirhoe involucrata, is blossoming, a bit later than usual.

The Winecup is accompanied by spring greens and a cheery Clasping coneflower in the background.

This single bloom was the first of what might be a limited Winecup flowering engagement this spring.  Shade, which is becoming the norm for my back garden, is probably the culprit responsible for this tardy fuchsia offering.

The pollinators and I will enjoy these flowers over the next month, but I’m considering a move for this perennial native in the fall.  I think I have just the right spot–one delivering of full sun–that will treat this plant right.


This pretty was a welcomed surprise.

The wide green straps belong to iris, the lily foliage is slender.

I can tell you that it’s a Zephyranthes, but I’m not sure which one; if I ever knew the name, it’s long forgotten. I purchased some bulbs a few years ago from one of the stellar, locally owned nurseries here in Austin and happily planted away.   Foliage, plus occasional snowy blooms, have made appearances after rains, but over time, the floral representatives of Zephyrus (Greek god of the western wind) disappeared from my gardens.  I attribute the decline to the ever-increasing shade (that again!) and also, to heavy, clayey soil.  Rain lilies thrive in sun and also in situations where the bulbs aren’t disturbed.

I planted the bulbs at the opposite end of my garden from where this bit of serendipity popped up, so I suppose that Zephyrus did his job and blew seeds (one, anyhow) to a different home.

I’m tickled at the one–and look forward to more!


My Claude Ikins pond lily didn’t return this year.

It’s odd that a pond lily would decline, but so it did, with rotted roots and no new foliage.  I needed another lily to cover the pond surface, the foliage acting to decrease water temperature and serve to protect fish from fish-hungry birds.  I’m sorry that the Claude didn’t return, as I loved the pure yellow blooms and more importantly, so did a variety of pollinators. Perhaps I should have replaced it with the same brand, but I allowed myself talked into this gorgeous critter:

Wanvisa waterlily has vibrant pinky/orange petals with cream-to-yellow streaks; it  is a dramatic and richly colored lily. Though it didn’t happen with this first bloom, apparently Wanvisa will sometimes open with a section of petals rocking a Bride-of-Frankenstein streak of cream or yellow with the rest of the flower as you see it here.

I guess the lily thought that might be too wild for this gardener to handle for the debut bloom, so it’s demonstrating its more subdued side.

The lily pads are equally lovely, with deep burgundy mottling.  Individual pads are large and rapidly covering the pond surface. That Great blue heron who has visited will have to hunt his goldfish from some other pond.


The other water-lily in my pond is a Colorado, and pink, though of a tamer hue.

Tiny native bees working the lily.

It’s also a beautiful flower and the native bees are pleased with its donations of pollen and nectar.

These bees are most likely small Ceratina, sp., or Sweat, Lasioglossum, bees.


While the Colorado seemed the choice of the moment for the bees, don’t think that the Wanvisa is a slouch in the pollinator buffet department.

As if on cue, a small metallic bee flew in to the bloom, just as the camera clicked.


I think these two lilies will get along just fine and that the bees and the gardener will cheer their success.

17 thoughts on “Worth the Wait

  1. Your Wine Cup is so pretty. I think they prefer your climate, as the ones I grew eventually disappeared. My pink Rain Lilies have gone crazy after our last rain. The plants do really well here and as I can never throw our a living thing, so they are all over my yard. I also have white (don’t know names either) and even though they usually bloom in the fall, a few have bloomed now. Aren’t garden surprises the best?


    • I love Winecup, though mine has never been as prolific as I see elsewhere. You’re fortunate that the rain lilies grow so well there. That’s another one that I’m thrilled about if I get one or two. That said, yes–garden surprises are the best!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Tina her garden is beautiful. The Winecup color fuchsia is beautiful. In its pond the new Wanvisa water lily is very beautiful. The pond is full of beautiful flowers. Have a happy week. Greetings from Margarita.


  3. Beautiful water lilies Tina 🙂
    What do you say – I have 2 Callirhoe involucrata young plants (last year seedlings) in the garden! But if it continues to rain the way it does, I don’t know what will happen….


    • Oh wow–that’s great. Fingers crossed that they don’t drown. I had no idea that they ranged that far north. Good luck–post when they bloom!


  4. Really neat to have a pond with water lilies in your garden! (and a great blue heron in the off season?) — from my perspective here the high desert.


    • Yes, my only regret about the pond is that I didn’t build it sooner! We have water birds (herons, of various sorts) all the time as there are creeks through Austin-proper and lakes nearby. The birds like goldfish. 🙂


  5. Love that last picture of the two lilies together. They look beautiful and I like how the Wanvisa holds its flower so high above the water. I had to do a double take when I read that Rain lilies thrive in sun, but now I understand why they are so-called. Your Winecup is a delightful flower with such a lovely shape and glorious colour. Enjoy!


    • Thanks! I notice that sometimes the lilies do that–lift high from the surface of the water and then at other times (most of the times, actually), they float on the surface. Ether way, I like’em!


  6. Your first photo is one of the best I’ve seen of the involucels on the winecup. I finally figured out that the presence or absence of those little bract-like thingies is the way to distinguish our two native species. I’d never seen the standing winecup until this year — both varieties are lovely.

    Have you tried native rain lilies in your garden? The word is that they don’t require much to get started. The planting instructions I’ve seen were essentially “throw the seeds on the ground.” I’ve also read that the seeds don’t remain viable forever, and that they’re best planted when fresh. If you’d like to give it a try, and don’t have any where you are, I’d be glad to collect seeds for you if I can find them. A year ago I had nearly a cupful, and couldn’t find anyone who wanted them, so I took them back to the Galveston cemetery where I’d gathered them, and scattered them about. They don’t mow down there until everything is finished blooming, so the lilies had a chance.


    • That’s interesting about the differences between the winecups. I’ve just always paid attention to the growth habit–one (mine) sprawls, the other is upright. You’re right that the native rain lilies are, no doubt, the more congenial to grow. And YES!, if you have extra seeds at some point, I’d love to have some. Thanks so much!


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