Atamasco lily (Zephyranthes atamasca)

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Illustration of Zephyranthes atamasca by Julie Martinez

Species: Zephyranthes atamasca
Common Name: Atamasco lily
Status: Endangered, Maryland;
Threatened, Florida
Range: Canada, United States

Map of United States illustrating the range of Zephyranthes atamasca

Artist: Julie Martinez
Artist Home Country: United States
Medium: Gouache, colored pencil

This fragrant lily, although beautiful, is also poisonous. It contains alkaloids that are showing promise for their anti-cancer properties. Flowering in the spring after warm, soaking rains, its population is considered to be in rapid decline in Florida.

A specimen of Atamasco lily (Zephyranthes atamasca) from the museum's herbarium collection:

National Herbarium preserved specimen of Zephyranthes atamasca