Cerise (pink) Double hippeastrum

Jim McKenney jimmckenney@starpower.net
Fri, 14 Oct 2005 16:37:01 PDT
In addition to getting out of those garden centers, I would advise anyone
interested in Hippeastrum to get some good mail-order catalogs. You'll find
literally dozens of Hippeastrum offered yearly: single, double, small,
large, typical hybrids, unusual hybrids and all for about the same price
more or less. 

The same is true with respect to crocus: the mass distribution bulb catalogs
offer plenty of interesting crocuses, enough to get anyone off to a good
start in this genus. 

Several of the bigger garden centers here in the Washington, D.C. area offer
respectable selections of both Hippeastrum and crocuses yearly. So maybe in
addition to getting some good mail order catalogs you should look for a
better garden center, too. 

Garden centers can be the source of unexpected treasures, doubly so because
they sometimes don't really appreciate how unusual some of the items they
sell are. For instance, Crocus sieberi tricolor appeared at a local garden
center over fifteen years ago, well before it made its appearance in widely
distributed lists. So too did the biflorus hybrid Skyline. My stocks of
Leucojum vernum carpathicum came from a local garden center. So it's always
worth taking a careful look at what is being offered. 

And back in the bad old days, I used to be able to pick out the bulbs of
Sternbergia clusiana mixed in among those of Sternbergia lutea. 

And if you are still bored, there is always Jane McGary's wonderful yearly
list. I don't expect to find those items in the local garden centers, even
on a very lucky day! 

Also, with respect to your "grave nomenclatural sin": what sin is that?
'Amaryllises' is not a botanical name, and I would argue that amaryllis
(with a lower case initial a and no italicization) is not a proper generic
name. It's a vernacular English word, one I don't hesitate to use myself
when referring to the cultivated Hippeastrum hybrids. 

But I do have one quibble: when you say " English "amaryllis" equals
botanical Latin "hippeastrum"." Make that Hippeastrum (with the capital
initial H) and I'll agree. 

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where I'm in the throes of
remaking parts of the garden - and hoping that my back holds out.  

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