Hippeastrum or Amarillys? More controverse

GermánRoitman ggroiti@agro.uba.ar
Thu, 01 Apr 2004 10:32:42 PST
Hello all:

Here is an article recently published by P. Ravenna in his own Botanical 
Leaflets, ONIRA.

I would like to share his controversial opinions with all of you. The 
article is longer but i only add here the Hippeastrum-Amarillys part, and 
the references of the hole paper.

I must admit i dont agree with his statements and i would like to know what 
do you think about them.

Looks like he didnt consider the Fourteenth International Botanical 
Congress in 1987.

Best wishes




Pierfelice Ravenna

Abstrac. Datation of a specimen of Brunsvigia rosea in the Clifford 
Herbarium at BM, revealed that it was pressed around 1794, and not earlier 
than 1744,As it was argued by several authors, this sheet had supposedly 
been studies by Lynnaeus during the specimen had been inserted much later 
than 1737, when  this work was published and cannot be considered type of 
Amaryllis belladonna L. The last argument of those who wanted to hold 
Hippeastrum falls before this new evidence. At this stage, it is definitely 
proved that the latter name is a synonym  of the New World genus Amaryllis. 
On the other hand, new species of the genera Amaryllis, and Habranthus 
(Amaryllidaceae), namely A. buccinata Rav., A. lavrensis Rav., H. 
amambaicus Rav., Hauratus Rav. Hcaaguazuensis Rav., H.calderensis Rav., 
Hlilaceus Rav., and Hminor Rav., are decribed. In addition, A.guarapuavica 
Rav., Myostemma bifida
(Herb.) Rav., Habranthus teretifolium (´C.H Wr.)Tr. & Mold., H.tubispathus 
(L`Her.) Tr., and Hymeocallis niederlenii Pax, are reported as novelties in 
the Paraguayan flora. Synonymy of the treated species is revised and completed.


          Amaryllis L. is the proper botanical name of a showy neotropical 
genus. This designation is in accordance with the International Code of 
Botanical Nomenclature,and to several relevant works, some of them recent, 
by Traub (1954, 1970: see pp 46-47), and Tjaden (1979,1981).These authors, 
especially the latter, contributed whit new evidence that demolished the 
ficticius and inconsistent positions of Baker (1878,1888). Sealy (1839), 
Dandy & Fosberg (1954), which concur with

Hebert´s(1837) arbitrary concept that the name Hippeastrum should prevail 
for  the neotropicl species. According to these authors, Linnaeus 
supposedly applied the binomial Amaryllis belladonna to a South African 
species wich, as would be several, perfectly recognized species. As the 
reader will see, the matter originated from an ill- intentioned 
nomenclatural fraude. Sealy´ ststements are notr based on facts but on 
supposed circumstantial considerations. He ellucubrated on what Linaeus had 
thought when naming Amaryllis belladonna. Seally failed in stating that the 
protologue phrase '' Amaryllis spatha multiflora corollas campanulatis 
aequalibus genitalibus declinatis'', was used by Linnaeeus for the first 
time in 1737. He based it including the genus name from pre-Linnean 
authors. Under nr. 4 of his statements. Sealy remarks that '' the seconds 
species to which Linaeus  referred in this note is the one he named A. 
Belladonna in 1753''.But the ''second''  actually refers to the Guernsey 
Lily, Nerine sarniensis,as Tjaden (1981) has fully demonstrated, not to 
Amaryllis belladonna. Actually, Miller (1755), was the first who confused 
the New World plant for the African now called Brunsvigia rosea; he was 
followed by L´ Heritier (1788). Sealy realized on the existence in the 
Clifford Herbarium of specimen '' immediately recognizable as the Cape 
belladonna. The specimen bears noname or identification, and therefore (he 
suitably argued)  there is no ground for stating either that it is the 
basis of Amaryllis belladonna, or that it is the plant which Linnaeus 
looked in the Clifford Garden, for the specimen may have added to the 
herbarium after Linnaeus had left Holland. ''By exposing different mixed 
viewpoints. Sealy appears as showing equanimity. An expert eye will see, 
however, that his statement are tendentious and misleading. In his last 
conclusion (nr. 4) he states: ''We may therefore say that the name A. 
belladonna should be retained for the Cape Belladonna, and the specimen in 
the Clifford Herbarium may well be accepted as the lectotype. "By this he 
contradicted his previous appraisal (see it in bold types). The presence of 
this specimen appears therefore as the last heavy argument for maintaining 
the name Amaryllis belladonna for the African plant.

            Dyer´s and Dandy´s & Fosberg´s papers appear superficial and 
equally misleading a Sealy´s. In their last remark, the latter authors 
state: " The fact that every one agrees that Amaryllis must by typified by 
A belladonna L, makes it follow that the generic name must by applied  to 
the African, not to the American genus." No comments to this sophism.

             The  last argument for retaining the name Amaryllis belladonna 
L for the African plant now called Brunsvigia rosea (Lam.) Hann., fallsdown 
before the evidence that this specimen, a scape in flower, was pressed well 
beyond 1737, the year of publication of Hortus Cliffortianus. In fact, the 
writer obtained  a 3- mm- long piece from the scape base, and sent it to 
Geochron Laboratories datation company, a division of Krueger Enterprises, 
of Cambridge, Massachusetts, Mr. Harry Krueger, Manager, informed that the 
C14 procedure on the AMS sample, revealed that the specimen was alive on a 
date between 1744 and 1844, on account of the markerd date. Therefore, 
hardly could Linnaeus had examined this material when he elaborated Hortus 
Cliffortianus. Who inserted the specimen in the Clifford Herbarium? Who 
could had special interest in doing that? The reader may judge…

Hippeastrum was declared nomen genericum conservandum against Leopoldia Herb.

This was a trick, since the latter is a nomen ambiguum and nomen 
provisorium, and therefore invalid. This action does not affect the status 
of the previous, validly published genus Amaryllis L.


Arroyo- Leuenberger, S. 1996. Amaryllidaceae, in F.O. Zuloaga & O. Morrone 
(Eds.) Catálogo de las plantas vasculares de la Republica Argentina. Miss. 
Bot. Gard.

Baker, J.G. 1878. Genus Hippeastrum; Trimen J. Bot. 16: 8-84.

--------------- 1888. Handbook of the Amaryllidaceae, 428 pp. G. Bell & 
Sons, London.

Dandy, J.E., and F.R. Fosberg 1954. The type of Amaryllis belladonna L; 
Taxon 3: 231-232.

Dyer, R. A. 1954. The Cape Belladonna Lily ; 3 : 72-74.

L´Hiritier de Brutelle, Ch. 1788. Sertum Anglicum, seu…, 36 pp, 34 tab. 
Typ. Didot, Paris.

Miller, Ph. 1760. Figures of the most beautiful plants described in the 
Gardener´s Dictionary 1: 73, tab. 110.

Herbert, W. 1837. Amaryllidaceae, 428 pp. J. Ridgway & Sons, London.

Ravenna, P. 1970a. Nuevas especies de Amaryllidaceae, Notic. Mens. Mus. 
Nac. Hist. Nat. Santiago 269 : 1-7.

---------------  1970b. Contributions to South American Amaryllidaceae III; 
Pl. Life 37: 73-103, figs. 18-25.

---------------  1972. Latin American Amaryllidis 1971; Pl. Life 28: 
119-127, fogs. 28-30

--------------    1988. New species of South American Habranthus and 
(Amaryllidaceae); Onira 1 (8): 53-56.

------------  2003. Elucidation and systematics of the Chilean genera of 
Amaryllidaceae; Bot. Austr. 2, 21 pp., 12 pls.

Sealy, R 1939. Amaryllis and Hippeastrum ; Bull. Misc. Inf. Kew (2): 49-60.

Tjaden, W.L. 1979. Amaryllis belladonna and the Guernsey Lily: an 
overlooked clue; J. Soc. Biblphy. Nat. Hist. 9 (3): 251-256.

------------ 1981. Amaryllis belladonna Linn.- An up-to-date summary; Pl. 
Life 37: 21-26, figs. 3-5.

Traub, H.P. 1954. Typification of Amaryllis belladonnaL; Taxon 3: 192-111.

------------  1970. An Introduction of Herbert´s "Amaryllidaceae, etc." 
1837 and related works. Verlag von J. Cramer, 3301 Lehre.


Ing. Agr. MSc Germán Roitman
Cátedra de Jardinería FAUBA
Av. San Martín 4453. 1417. Buenos Aires
ICQ: 1837762

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