Ismene/Hymenocallis amancaes

Lee Poulsen
Tue, 24 Aug 2004 00:04:44 PDT
On the Spanish bulb list a guy in Peru has been describing this flower 
and things about it I didn't know. Apparently it is the official emblem 
of the city of Lima and used to be found in large numbers growing wild 
on the banks of the Rimac River which flows through Lima. The locations 
where it used to grow so abundantly are now nothing but metropolis, 
including a district of Lima that still is called the Pampas of 
Amancaes, and the flower isn't grown anywhere in Lima today. However, 
there is an organization (Club Floralíes de Lima) that has dedicated 
itself to bringing it back and they have created a preserve called 
Pachacámac on land outside of Lima owned/donated by the Lima Cement 
Company where they grow this and other native plants. They have a 
webpage that shows some beautiful photos of the plant and flower which 
they call 'Amancaes' <>. 
Even Charles Darwin records seeing fields of them flowering on the 
desert coastal hills of Peru through binoculars as the Beagle sailed 
past them. If you can read Spanish there is one other article about 
this preserve at 

In Peru it flowers in the cold and cloudy season (winter?), starting at 
the end of June and flowering through the end of September.

According to this page, the flower also comes in white and purple. Has 
anyone ever seen or heard of a white H. amancaes? And are there any 
other purple flowered Hymenocallises or sister genera? Another article 
<…> also 
mentions that there is an almost extinct white flowered form that I 
think the article says they are managing to cultivate a few of them in 
the nursery at the Pachacámac sanctuary.

--Lee Poulsen
Pasadena area, California, USDA Zone 9-10

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