Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Cooperia pedunculata

Hill Country rain lily, Prairie lily, Rain lily, Flor de mayo

Liliaceae (Lily Family)

Cooperia pedunculata (Hill country rain lily)
Marcus, Joseph A.
Rain lilies pop up and bloom two or three days after good rains in the spring and early summer. They begin to open slowly about dusk and are fully opened the next morning. Flowers are trumpet-shaped for a few hours after opening, but the 3 petals and 3 sepals, all white, spread widely to 2 inches across as they mature; they last only a day or two. The fragrant blossom is at the top of the single, unbranched stem, which is 59 inches high. The leaves are at the bottom, 6 12 inches long and 1/4 inch wide.

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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Size Notes: 1-1.5 feet.
Leaf: blue-green
Size Class: 0-1 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug
Bloom Notes: Tends to have a main spring bloom season after significant rains trigger blooming with sporadic blooms that may occur over the rest of the growing season.


Native Distribution: Louisiana east to southwest Texas, south to Tamaulipas in northeastern Mexico
Native Habitat: Prairies; open woodlands

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2)
Cold Tolerant: yes
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Clay. Clay Loam. Medium Loam. Sandy Loam. Limestone-based. Caliche type.
Conditions Comments: These bulbs produce blue-green grass like leaves with slightly fragrant, shimmering flowers, mainly in spring, that have a color that evolves over two days from white to silky light pink. Rain lilies make for nice surprises after a rain and combine well with plants that have short foliage, such as cardinal feather and silver ponyfoot. In flower beds, meadows, and pots, these rain lilies grow easily from bulbs. The flowers will last a little longer in shade. Plant 8 inches deep for more flowers. Plant 4 inch/shallow to increase the bulbs. This species typically blooms in the Spring, while C. drummondii blooms in the Fall.


Use Ornamental: Perennial garden, Showy, Shortgrass meadow, Can be mowed
Fragrant Flowers: yes
Deer Resistant: Moderate

Last Update: 2015-12-16