Amaryllis images

Tue, 19 Jul 2005 11:10:17 PDT

> The key issue was "exactly what plant did Linnaeus give the
> name 'Amaryllis belladonna' to?" The type specimen is extant in
> the Linnean herbarium, but it wasn't clear what it was because
> the characters that distinguish Hippeastrum from Amaryllis were
> not ascertainable -- details of the inner floral parts, I
> suspect.
> My understanding is that the Linnean Society finally took the
> plunge and allowed the specimen to be dissected. It turned out
> to be (surprise!) what we've been calling Amaryllis belladonna
> all along. <whew> <wipes worried sweat off brow>

American botanists were mostly of the opinion that the Linnean type specimen
for Amaryllis belladonna was referable to an American amaryllid.  So
Amaryllis belladonna in American collections and nursery trade was usually
the bulb which is now identified as Hippeastrum puniceum.  The South African
Amaryllis belladonna, what is now recognized as Amaryllis belladonna,  was
known as Brunsvigia rosea in American collections and called "naked ladies'
in California.

Fred Boutin

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