Different Naked Ladies - Lycoirsaversus Amaryllis

James Waddick jwaddick@kc.rr.com
Fri, 14 Dec 2007 12:14:48 PST
Dear All,
	Botanically Amaryllis and Lycoris although both members of 
the Amaryllidaceae, they are not very close. The 2 most distinct 
morphological characters are that Lycoris has only 2 spathes beneath 
the flower head* and a curved floral/perianth tube, while Amaryllis 
has three or more spathes and a straight floral/perianth tube. 
Spathe here refers to the large bracts enclosing the entire 
developing flower head. I suppose it is possible that an aberrant 
Amaryllis might just have two. And in Amaryllis the perianth tube can 
be very short, but it is much longer (and curves) in most Lycoris.

	Less obvious of course is that Lycoris is strictly E. Asian 
versus Amaryllis from S. Africa.

	Lycoris consist of two major groups: those with spring 
foliage which are generally hardy in the north and don't do as well 
in the south ( e.g. L. squamigera), and a second group (subgenus) 
with foliage that emerges in fall and does better in the south and 
less hardy and/ or floriferous in the north (e.g. L. radiata).  Both 
'in general'.
	Amaryllis is basically cultivated like Hippeastrum and does 
not flourish in northern gardens.

	Neither performs well in pots.  Both bloom on bare stems. The 
color range of Amaryllis (2 species) is far more restricted than that 
of Lycoris with over 20 species and numerous hybrids.

	Amaryllis usually prefers a dry summer (baking), whereas 
Lycoris does not want to dry out as completely and tolerates/prefers 
summer moisture.

	Once you are familiar with either, they look obviously distinct.

	Does this help?

			Best		Jim W.

* The spathes usually dry up at bloom 

Dr. James W. Waddick
8871 NW Brostrom Rd.
Kansas City Missouri 64152-2711
Ph.    816-746-1949
Zone 5 Record low -23F
	Summer 100F +

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