What do Texas Sage and Rain Lilies have in common? Both of these plants are drought tolerant, and they respond to rain (but in different ways)!
The Texas Sage responds to pressure changes and is sometimes called a “barometer” plant. Falling atmospheric pressure often signals approaching rain. This plant produces prolific blooms each time rain is eminent — It has accurately “predicted” rain every time. The most welcome blooms appeared towards the end of the drought. Initially, we thought that the plant was not normal because rain was not even predicted. Yet, within 3 days (every time there are blooms) we have had rain. Texas Sage cannot predict the amount of rain, but there will be —at the very least— a light shower. This year, we have seen more blooms than in the past 3 years combined!
Rain Lilies also respond to rain–but they don’t predict it. About 3 days after a rain shower, the flower buds emerge on the tips of stalks that reach about 8 to 10 inches. Most rain lilies are either Zephranthes or Habranthus species. Both of my rain lilies (the white and the pink) were obtained as pass along plants. While I believe the pink variety is a Zephranthes species, I suspect that the white variety may actually be Cooperia pedunculata — the giant prarie lily.
While both the Texas Sage and the Rain lily produce dependable blooms, the timing is really dependent upon rain.