A family of bulbous and scape-bearing herbs with flat, grass-like leaves and regular six-parted flowers.
Atamasco Lily (Zephyranthes Atamasco) is an exceedingly beautiful species with pure, waxy-white flowers, only one to a plant, erect at the summit of a scape from 6 to 12 in. high. Perianth funnel-form, with six spreading lobes, a short pistil and six stamens with large yellow anthers. Leaves long, linear and channeled. Quite common in moist places or swamps, from Del. to Fla., flowering from April to July.
B. Atamasco Lily.
Hymenocallis (Hymenocallis Occidentalis) has large showy, fragrant, white flowers in an umbel-like head; perianth broad, funnel-form with a two-notched edge; 3 or 4 in. in length. Leaves long and strap-shaped. In marshy places from Mo. and 111. southeast to Ga. and Ala.
Yellow Star Grass. Hypoxis hirsuta.
Yellow Star Grass (Hypoxis Hirsuta) is the most widely distributed of any of the members of the Amaryllis family. It is very appropriately named. From April until July and more sparingly until September we may see these bright shining golden stars peering at us from a background of green grass. So closely do the leaves of this little plant correspond to the grass leaves, among which they grow, that sharp scrutiny is required to distinguish them. Usually fields or open woods are chosen for their habitat, dry places in which we may also find quantities of Bluets or Innocence and common Cinquefoil. Although there are from four to eight buds to be found near the summit of the slender scape, but one, or at most two, of these open at a time. As they remain open for several days, a single plant may remain in bloom for two or three weeks. The blossoms are visited by several of the smaller bees for pollen; some of this is often unwittingly carried to the sticky stigma of the next flower visited and cross-fertilization effected. The flowers, in withering, close up so that should a blossom not have been already fertilized, its own anthers will come in contact with its stigma.
The flowers are in a loose umbel at the top of a scape from 3 to 8 in. in height; perianth wide spread and divided into six shining, golden-yellow sepals, paler and slightly greenish on the outside; the six stamens tipped with large golden-orange anthers. The slender, narrow, grass-like leaves come from a small bulb together with the flower scape. This species is common from Me. to Manitoba and southwards to the Gulf of Mexico.
Cooperia Drummondii has a solitary white flower with six wide spread divisions and a long slender tube, from 2 to 4 in. long. Leaves grass-like. Found on prairies from Kans. to Texas.