Amaryllis belladonna

Jim McKenney
Thu, 17 Mar 2005 05:14:59 PST
Thanks for the detailed response, Jim.

After posting my original email to the group, I did what I should have done
before posting it - namely, check the wiki to see what was there. I was
about to read the dialog between you and David Sneddon, but went for the
pictures instead. I read the dialog this morning and enjoyed it. Among other
things it was a reminder to me that there is a vibrant bulb growing
tradition in Australia of which I am largely ignorant. 

From reading the dialog between you and Sneddon, it seems that the plant
Roger mentioned might be a ×Amarygia where Brunsvigia was the seed parent. 

Have I got it right?

[Grammar aside to those interested: I wrote 'a ×Amarygia' because we were
advised earlier to read the × as 'times'.]

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where I would very much like
to have the problem of trying to decide whether my amaryllis (which of
course don't exist) are Amaryllis belladonna or hybrids with Brunsvigia. 

-----Original Message-----
From: []
On Behalf Of Jim Lykos
Sent: Thursday, March 17, 2005 6:50 AM
To: Pacific Bulb Society
Subject: Re: [pbs] Amaryllis belladonna

Hi Jim,

There is a problem in  clearly identifying all Amaryllis belladonna
varieties from some of their hybrids. This is because there has been
backcrossing between the species and hybrids, and even segregates between
hybrid crosses have throwbacks that retain many species characteristics.
The only characteristics that seem to be found in the majority of Amaryllis
species is a smaller flower count, many thinner, often channeled  sprawling
leaves, and the propensity of all the flowers to open facing the location of
the mid day sun.

It also seems evident from the colour prints and descriptions of many of the
early oddly - often beautifully  and uniquely coloured Amaryllis cultivars
that were collected from South Africa (over the past three centuries) that a
few natural hybrids between Amaryllis and Brunvigia's existed and inevitably
some of their genes over eons crossed over into a few local Amaryllis
populations in SA.     

Bulbs of Amaryllis flower forms that were different in colour and showed
other favourable attributes were sent to collectors in Portugal, England,
Holland,France, Australia, Brazil etc.  I know that David Fenwick is well
advanced on a project to trace the history of  significant early Amaryllis
cultivars in all those countries.
The only certainty (almost a certainty)  is that all the hybrids and
cultivars we are discussing arose from Amaryllis seed. The xAmarygia from
various Brunsvigia species seed parentage which can be found in Australia,
all show very  strong traits of their Brunsvigia parentage and are quite
different in flower shape, colour and flowering ecology from those xAmarygia
that have developed from Amaryllis seed and we know colloquially as
Amaryllis hybrids. 


Jim Lykos
Blue Mountains
Zone 10
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