Sunday, April 8, 2012

Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge: Atamasco Lily (Zephyranthes atamasco)

March 24th, 2012. We returned to the Piedmont NWR to check on plants we saw on March 10th and took the same route as on our last trip. We took Starr Road from GA-83 south on through the Oconee National Forest into the NWR. We drove through Tribble Fields to the bridge over Little Falling Creek and then north to Pond 2A. We returned the way we’d come and then took the first road on the right down to the Round Tree – Juliette Rd, drove east and then back into the NWR on the first road on the left. From there we drove north to the intersection with Sugar Hill Road, turned west and forded Stalking Head Creek. We then drove north and took the first road on the right to ford Stalking Head Creek again, east past a small pond and southeast to meet Sugar Hill Road again and then east to GA-11.

On our previous visit we saw very few Atamasco lilies and thought that the drought may have diminished their numbers as it had on the Dimpled Troutlilies. We had been wrong about the Atamasco lilies; we must have been a little early. We started to see them as we drove along GA-83 and, as we turned onto Starr Road, we saw a lot in the woods to the left.

They were scattered through the woods,

singly and in…

clumps, and

clumps, and

clumps, and even larger…

clumps. This clump was beside the road just south of the woodland patch.

We found these lilies in areas of the Oconee WMA north of the NWR and throughout the NWR were the ground was moist. Sightings of the lilies served as an indication that other moisture-loving plants might be present.

Zephyranthes atamasca
(Atamasco lily) is native to the United States where it occurs from Maryland to Louisiana. In Georgia it occurs in many counties. It has been documented in Jasper County but not in Jones County. The Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) has not accepted the name Zephyranthes atamasca but accepts the name Zephyranthes atamasco.

Click on an image to view a larger image

Identification resources:

- Southeastern Flora: Zephyranthes atamasca (Atamasco lily)

- Name that Plant: Zephyranthes atamasca (Common Atamasco Lily, Rain-lily, Easter Lily, Naked Lily)

- Integrated Taxonomic Information System (IT IS) accepted name: Zephyranthes atamasco


- University of North Carolina Herbarium: Zephyranthes atamasca

- USDA Plants Database: Zephyranthes atamasca (Atamasco Lily)

Related Post:
- Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge: Late Winter Surprises (Part 3)

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