Amaryllis selections from Les Hannibal MLH26-48
The late Les Hannibal was a longtime breeder of Amaryllis hybrids. Over a period of several decades, he tossed all of the excess seeds from his breeding program into the roughly one acre backyard of his home in Sacramento, California. The result was a sloping hill covered in many thousands of bulbs, scattered everywhere and even leaking into the neighbors' yards. When in bloom it was a remarkable sight, a kind of fairyland of bulbs. Shortly before his death, Mr. Hannibal permitted several people to collect bulbs from his yard. Thank you, Mr. Hannibal!
The numbers on these bulbs are just codes I use to identify them. The letters stand for my name, followed by LH to credit the guy who bred them. --Michael Mace
Why post so many photos? Because I think you need to see a lot of them to understand how they vary. These flowers are kind of like wine -- at first they all seem the same, but after a while, you start to spot the differences. There's a huge amount of variation in color schemes, flower shape, bud count, and other features. I think that means there's still a lot of room for breeding new and improved varieties. But I'll let you be the judge...
MLH 27 is another plant with very ruffled flowers and a nice high bud count too.
MLH 28 has yet more ruffles. Very similar to MLH 27, but the new flowers have a whiter throat.
MLH 29 is another one with the beginnings of a thick pink stripe in the middle of the petal. It's more obvious in person than it is in this photo.
MLH 30 This is a white, with yellow throat. It has quite nice radial form.
MLH 31 is another of the very dark pinks. Even though the photo looks red, trust me -- it's not.
MLH 32 has white flowers with just a hint of a pink blush at the tips. This photo came out unusually well -- it's a hard color to capture.
MLH 33 (berries and cream) I think of this as berries & cream because the flower head looks like ice cream mixed with berries. The flowers open almost totally white, and age to a solid mid-pink. Because the flowers last a long time, you get a mixture of white and pink in the same flower head. It's very nice looking.
MLH 34 (bullseye) I was very excited when this one bloomed for the first time in 2003. The flowers start off with a white throat and pale pink at the tips, but age to white at the tips and bright pink in the center. The result is very striking when you see it in the garden -- the flowers look like they have a bull's eye in them. Unfortunately, everything else about this variety is bad: poor bud count, not radial, etc. But the color... I am trying to cross this one with some of the more vigorous varieties.
MLH 35 This is a good white with yellow centers and a little bit of ruffling. Good bud count, and it blooms over a long period because only a few of the flowers are open at one time.
MLH 36 is another mid-pink with yellow center. The flowers are some of the largest I've seen. Also, as the flower head develops it becomes fairly radial.
MLH 37 is a nice white with yellow centers, fairly radial.
MLH 40 was a nice treat when it bloomed for the first time for me in 2003. It reminds me a little bit of a Plumeria blossom -- pink at the edges, white in the middle, almost orange in the center. The petals are also very wide.
MLH 41 This one is about as close to a picotee as I've seen. In the photo taken in shade you can see the veins and edging at the edges of the petals. In the second picture here's how it looks when photographed in sunlight. The lower flowers are older; they age to a pale pink.
MLH 42 is similar to MLH 40 but not quite as nice in my opinion.
MLH 43 is very, very pale pink.
MLH 44 is similar to MLH 42, but with a better bud count. Still not as nice as MLH 40.
MLH 48 is light pink, like many of the others, but notice how little yellow there is in the throat.
MLH 51 is white, with a very thin pink band along the outer edge of the petals.