Story of the Cullowhee lily to be told at Lake J

out lilyThe tale of the once-common Cullowhee lily will take center stage at the next meeting of the Tuscola Garden Club, 10 a.m. Tuesday, May 20, at the Bethea Welcome Center at Lake Junaluska.

Master Gardener Peggy Hurt will tell about the effort to restore Zephyranthes atamasca to prominence. Some speculate the water-loving plant began to disappear when low valley wetlands were drained for development and kudzu proliferated along the river banks. 

Western Carolina alumni and community members began an effort to reinstate the lily with a fundraising drive, a bulb sale, a ceremonial planting in the Centennial Garden and an a cappella performance including an original song about Cullowhee, “Valley of the Lilies.” Now, local businesses are selling the flower bulbs to increase their numbers, with funds from the sales going to scholarships for WCU students. Marie Metcalf, 828.454.9474. 

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