Amaryllis images

J.E. Shields
Tue, 19 Jul 2005 06:27:50 PDT
Carol, Mary Sue, and all,

As Myke has pointed out, Hippeastrum is the accepted botanical name now for 
plants whose origins go to South America.  The so-called "Dutch Amaryllis" 
hybrids are all Hippeastrum hybrids.

In the vernacular around the world, many people refer to commercial 
Hippeastrum hybrids as "amaryllis," while the botanical name Amaryllis 
denotes a genus endemic to Africa.  For clarity, most of us prefer the 
botanical names.  Vernacular or common names vary not only from language to 
language, but (in English at least) from country to country; and within the 
USA, it can vary from region to region.

For example, my "Naked Lady" is Lycoris squamigera here in the Midwest.  In 
the UK it might be a Colchicum.  In California, it would be an Amaryllis or 
a Brunsvigia.

I have heard plants in Lycoris referred to in various parts of the USA as 
"Surprise Lily," as "Hurricane Lily" as well as "Naked Lady."  Common names 
are ambiguous at best, misleading at worst.  Botanical names are certainly 
not perfect, but they will always lead you eventually to a specific kind of 

Best regards,
Jim Shields
in central Indiana (USA)

Jim Shields             USDA Zone 5             Shields Gardens, Ltd.
P.O. Box 92              WWW:
Westfield, Indiana 46074, USA
Tel. ++1-317-867-3344     or      toll-free 1-866-449-3344 in USA

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