Nerine hybrids and their names

Dr Paul Chapman
Tue, 29 Oct 2002 14:22:32 PST
Dear All,

In response to a message from Diane Whitehead on the "South African Bulbs"
list, which included the statement

"It is proving difficult for me to find the parentage of Nerine hybrids",

I sent the following response.  I apologise for the cross-posting, but would
request that that anyone, anywhere in the world, who grows Nerine hybrids,
would consider providing whatever information they have available about
names, in order to assist Barrie in his labour of love for these bulbs.

Many thanks,


"It is not surprising that you are finding it difficult to find the parentage
of Nerine hybrids... much of that information has been lost forever, for
example Zinkowski's breeding records and, although some of the records of
the UK breeders may still exist, they do not seem likely to appear in the
public domain for one reason or another.

The exception to this are the records made by Sir Peter Smithers in relation
to his breeding programme.  Sir Peter took over the Exbury collection of
Nerines from the de Rothschilds, who had been breeding them for at least
half a century in the UK.  He carried on this work in Switzerland, but the
collection has now returned to Exbury, where it is under the care of
Nicholas de Rothschild, and at least part is open for public viewing (the
Nerine and Amaryllid Society, of which Nicholas de Rothschild is President,
has made an annual visit to view the whole collection in each of the last 3

Sir Peter recorded all his hybrids on an Access database, which has been
deposited in the RHS library, and about 5 years ago Sir Peter offered a copy
to anyone who was interested - I have one.

I am on the committee of the Nerine and Amaryllid Society, and one of my
colleagues, Barrie Ward, is collecting information about Nerine names and,
where available, their parentage, with the aim of becoming an informal
registrar for Nerine in the UK in the first place.  If this is successful, I
understand that it is likely that Barrie will be nominated as formal
Registrar by the RHS.  The first stage of this massive task is simply to
collect the names that are known to exist, to prevent any further
duplication as new hybrids are named.

Following on from this is a request for anyone who has any named Nerine
cultivars to let me know what the names are, so that I can pass this
information on to Barrie.  Even if you have a hybrid that is labelled, for
example "Pink Panther x Tiger's Eye", this is worth recording as, even if
the cultivars "Pink Panther" and "Tiger's Eye" are not part of your
collection, they must have existed once, and might be the critical part of
the jigsaw puzzle to fit together the parentage of a cultivar.  Of course,
if you do have any information about the parents, or the breeder, that would
be even more useful.


Dr Paul Chapman, Wallington, Surrey, UK
South London commuter belt suburbia - zone 9a - where Nerine bowdenii is in
full flower outdoors, and many hybrids are flowering in the cold greenhouse
and are on display in the house

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