Lycoris squamigera vs Amaryllis beladonna

James Waddick
Sat, 02 Aug 2014 17:47:12 PDT
Leo and all,

	You make some good points.   I have searched for a good dichotomous key to the genera of the Family Amaryllidaceae and there just isn’t any ’Key Character’ or two or three that I can point to. One of the few keys is in ‘The  European Garden Flora ‘ Vol 1 and it is much too vague. 

	Here’s some comparisons between the single variable Amaryllis belladonna and the uniform Lycoris squamigera, but no other species in the genus. I am just listing differences

	Amaryllis belladonna	Mediterranean  Climate		Mild Winter, Dry summer				Bulbs bake prior to bloom				Flowers regular and symmetric		
	Range of colors, pink shades, white etc.						Native to S. Africa		Generally fertile, Seed produced

	Lycoris squamigera		Continetal Climate			Cold Winter, Moderate Summer		Bulbs need summer moisture prior to bloom	Flowers somewhat irregular			
	Flowers uniformly pink with hint of blue in tips and yellow throat	Native to China		Generally sterile, NO seeds

	As others have said, do not believe pictures on packages of bulbs in garden centers, web sites (except PBS wiki) or every gardener.  I believe one problem is that people grow up with common names such as Naked Ladies or Surprise Lilies which can be applied to both species. 

	And I again pass my doubt that you can grow both species in the same garden.

	Disclaimer. After years of trying I was successful once in getting Amaryllis belladonna to bloom in my Kansas City garden. Potted bulbs were given winter greenhouse protection above freezing and baked all summer without moisture. They bloomed once. Very pretty and wish I could grow them easily. I passed them on to others in an appropriate climate. 

		Hope this helps.		Jim W.  

On Aug 2, 2014, at 4:09 PM, Leo A. Martin <> wrote:

> Jim Waddick wrote
>> I urge you to go to the PBS wiki and study the
>> numerous photos of both species and as you get
>> familiar with each you can easily tell which is which.
>> Amaryllis…
>> Lycoris…
>> scroll to L. squamigera.
> It is easy for me to tell the two apart. Amaryllis here is expensive, sold in good
> nurseries, grows leaves reliably year after year, and blooms about once every 6-7 years
> if the gardener is lucky. Lycoris squamigera is very expensive, not sold here, grows
> leaves perhaps once or not at all, never blooms and disappears rapidly.
> I went to the two referenced Wiki pages to look. The photos are beautiful. There is
> nothing in the text on either page explaining the characteristics shown so well in the
> photos. This is common on our Wiki.
> I sometimes teach budding professionals things that are obvious to those in the know,
> but not obvious to reasonably intelligent people who don't know what to notice. 

James Waddick
8871 NW Brostrom Rd
Kansas City, MO 64152-2711
Phone     816-746-1949

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