Longwinded: On Galleries and Hippeastrum striatum & puniceum?

rdjenkins rdjenkins@bellsouth.net
Mon, 11 Dec 2006 12:14:57 PST
I am an amateur Amaryllids enthusiast with a particular interest in Hippeastrum and I need help! LOL.

The literature and taxonomic help I find on the web, while very detailed, still takes effort for me to translate to common layman's language that I can use to know certain related or allied species and to confirm identities on some of them. Many times I resort to web-based pictures and, as has been discussed, those on Google are near to useless if you don't have some prior knowledge.

Other source sites dedicated to plants have numerous pictures but appear to me to have inaccuracies that have not been addressed. Some would pictures would seem to be deleted entirely or have explanatory text added for some of them beyond a general disclaimer that the site posts all pix under the name they are given which may not be correct. The sites I am referring to are connected to organizations with members who could oversee what is placed on the site, and reject some entries or require some explanation as to the questionability of specific photographs. 

I must point out that none of the sites promotes their picture collections as a reference guide, but I have little else to go on and I am sure that many others use them similarly. More knowledgeable researchers might even be aware of the inaccuracies but not seeking to have it corrected for their own reasons, leaving those of us less knowledgeable liable to further spread the inaccuracy unknowingly.

Now to what I am dealing with specifically. In comparing H. striatum and H. puiceum, I see a difference in the throat coloration of each. (And do correct me if I am wrong in this being a way of identification, please.) Forgive my common terminology.

There are numerous pictures that show striatum, regardless of tepal color which is generally orange and generally striated in detail in newer blooms (but not so apparent in mature ones and also affected by camera-light relationship), with a greenish-yellowish-whitish central stripe coming up from the base with the colored portions of the tepal going down inside the throat a bit on each side of the "stripe".  I take it the name refers to striated appearance of the foliage and not those on the tepals. Right?

H. puniceum seem to lack the striations and tends more toward the reds range. The tepal color stops either at the beginning of the central stripe (moving form apex to base) but sometimes extends a bit beyond its start, but not so much that an overall rounded appearance is affected, definitely roundish whereas the throat is quite star-like in striatum. The form of the tepals varies as well (pointed, thin, etc) and that is understood as natural variation, but might be more typical of one over the other, without getting lost in the ssp vs. var miasma........

I know there are other differences seen in isolated natural colonies of plants whose identity is known: those differences are understood. 

Here's where the problem comes in for me. The sites I have mentioned have examples of under striatum puniceum and some vice-versa and one with both. Which is the true blossom form of each? Do the blossom forms (starlike vs. rounded) occur in both?

That leaves me with "puniceum". Where is the foliage(?) purplish beyond what many Hippeastrum exhibit in strong light? Could this refer to the red-purple blotches sometimes seen in the throat of some vars? Is the coloring on the scape? I haven't read but one botanical description of puniceum and it didn't mention any purplish blush to foliage, scape, pedicel etc. at all. Seems odd that the name description wouldn't find itself in the description of the plant.........

Thank-you if you got this far. I will welcome any light that can be given!


More information about the pbs mailing list