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Habranthus tubispathus (Rio grande copperlily)
Marcus, Joseph A.

Habranthus tubispathus

Habranthus tubispathus (L'Hér.) Traub

Rio Grande Copperlily, Copper Lily, Rio Grande Copper-lily

Liliaceae (Lily Family)

Synonym(s): Habranthus texanus, Zephyranthes texana


USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Rio Grande Copper-lily is a low, smooth perennial, 6-12 in. tall, with a golden-yellow, solitary, terminal flower. Narrow, smooth, thick leaves appear after flowers have withered.

Flowers after the rains of late summer and fall. Very showy when planted in groups where flowers make a mass of color after rains.


From the Image Gallery

29 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 1 foot tall.
Fruit: Capsule 3-locular. Seeds flat, dark brown to black.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct
Bloom Notes: Bright yellow to orangish yellow.


Native Distribution: E. two-thirds of TX
Native Habitat: Moist, grassy swales & pastures

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil Description: Various somewhat moist soils.
Conditions Comments: Flowers after the rains of late summer and fall. Very showy when planted in groups where flowers make a mass of color after rains.


Conspicuous Flowers: yes

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX

Herbarium Specimen(s)

NPSOT 0024 Collected July 23, 1990 in Bexar County by Judith C. Berry

1 specimen(s) available in the Digital Herbarium

Wildflower Center Seed Bank

LBJWC-1599 Collected 2013-09-10 in McLennan County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
LBJWC-160 Collected 2007-09-29 in Travis County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

2 collection(s) available in the Wildflower Center Seed Bank


Bibref 328 - Wildflowers of Texas (2003) Ajilvsgi, Geyata.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Habranthus tubispathus in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Habranthus tubispathus in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Habranthus tubispathus


Record Modified: 2023-04-11
Research By: TWC Staff

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