hippeastrum identification

Jane McGary janemcgary@earthlink.net
Sun, 24 Feb 2019 12:15:55 PST
PBS is in the later phase of preparing for publication (online) the 
monograph "The Genus Hippeastrum in Bolivia" by Lara and Vasquez, 
including a key updated from the one posted by Dr. Suarezmotta. It 
covers only species found in that country, however, and not those of 
Peru, which presumably is the source of the two for which Diana has the 
names H. machupijchensis and H. cuzcoensis (note that these names are 
spelled wrong, as they should end in -ense; they may once have been 
called Amaryllis etc., which is feminine). The same is probably true of 
the Fontqueria article sent by Dr. Suarezmotta. H. yungascense, 
mentioned by Diana, is included as a valid species among the Bolivian 

Over the two centuries during which Hippeastrum species have been 
described, many peculiar things appear to have happened. Some have been 
described on the basis of a single specimen and never found again, and 
at least one was only refound quite recently. A couple have been 
described from cultivation and never found in the wild. A disagreement 
among botanists led to much of the 20th-century literature being 
published under Amaryllis rather than Hippeastrum, particularly in the 
journal Plant Life (Stanford). The beauty of these plants encouraged 
their cultivation from pre-Columbian times to the present, and bulbs 
found in nature may have hybridized freely in gardens.

One cannot entirely blame botanists for the confusion. According to 
Lara's book, many hippeastrums grow naturally in densely vegetated areas 
that are very difficult of access even today. The author has included a 
chapter on the refinding of one species, with photos of his assistants 
crossing a swift river on a raft made of saplings and climbing a 
vertical cliff to photograph plants in flower.

Jane McGary

On 2/23/2019 7:38 PM, Fabio Francisco Suarezmotta wrote:
> Jane Mc Gary
> Receive a greeting, I attach publications on hippeastrum species of Bolivia
> Hi All
> Diana wrote on  june 03/2018
> I was recently contacted by someone who tells me he thinks the bulb I
> haveV identified as H. machupijchensis is probably H. cuzcoensis. He sent
> me photographs of both species to back this up, and if the photographs
> are correct, he is right.  I am not sure how to correct this problem,
> since I have been selling H. machupijchensis for some time now.  While I
> do feel that the person who contacted me is correct, and is expert in
> this area, I often gets e-mails saying 'it isn't' when I list a new
> bulb.  Who to believe when you can't back it up through the literature?
> This does open the question, though, of how to properly identify
> Hippeastrums.  I spend a great deal of time double checking identities
> of the bulbs I sell, but without a proper reference to go to, it is very
> difficult.  I do not depend on photographs on the internet, firstly
> because you can't see enough detail, and secondly because there is a
> great deal of misinformation out there.  I have a complete set of
> Herbertia, but without an index it is a very slow trawl through the many
> isIsues to try to find what you are looking for (which might not even be
> there).  I have, therefore, had to rely on the identity given to me by
> the collector the bulbs have come from.  My H. machupijchesis bulbs came
> originally from Harry Hay in England (now deceased).  His reputation was
> excellent, although I don't believe he ever collected any of his
> material in the wild.  It is very easy for mistakes to become compounded
> when collectors trade material back and forth.  I would say that at
> least 20% of Hippeastrums I have received this way were not what they
> were supposed to be, some were species that are very commonly available,
> or even commercial hybrids.  There is, also, natural variation in a
> species. I have three different accessions of H. yungacensis, and they
> all look different, having different amounts of red in the petals, but I
> feel fairly confident they are all the true species
> I would much appreciate any input from Hippeastrum collectors.  I was
> very appreciative when this person not only sent me this information,
> but sent me photographs of the true species taken in habitat.
> Diana, in the following links, you find dichotomous keys to identify Bolivian species of hippeastrum, they are written in latin botanical, English and Spanish, in the dichotomous keys the questions are answered and this is how we arrive at the species that we are identifying.
> Notas 1_Fontqueria_56_42.pdf  , Biblioteca digital del Real Jardin botanico ,  de España
> ( Digital library Royal botanical garden , Spain ) , Notes on hippeastrum of Bolivia , part I
>     http://bibdigital.rjb.csic.es/PDF/…
> Notas 2 _Fontqueria_56_43.pdf , Biblioteca digital del Real Jardin botanico de España
> ( Digital library Royal botanical garden, Spain ) , Notes on hippeastrum of Bolivia , part II
> http://bibdigital.rjb.csic.es/PDF/…
> Greetings to all.
> Fabio F Suarezmotta, Agronomist Engineer
>    Bucaramanga Colombia.
> Sorry for the translation , I use google translator.
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