Friday, February 25, 2011

The butterfly amaryllis

Here's a plant you don't see often. I was fortunate enough to buy a large crowded pot of them from a former Fairchild Garden curator who was moving to Michigan.

The butterfly amaryllis, Hippeastrum papilio, is not technically an amaryllis since it's native to Brazil and all such South American bulbs are in the Hippeastrum genus; Amaryllis are native to Africa. But, as you probably realize, they are both are in the Amaryllidaceae family.

To my mind, these blooms are way more sophisticated than the gaudy Dutch amaryllis, as cheerful as they are. I love the lime green center and the maroon outline of the petals. The only drawback is that the flowers don't open as fully as commercial amaryllis.

I'm still figuring out the best light for them, but they seem to be happy in either bright sunlight or dappled shade. And they didn't mind the cold snap, either.


NanaK said...

Oooh, very pretty!

Floridagirl said...

Ooooohhhh.... I want one! IMHO, I think our garden shelves should be lined with all kinds of bulbs of the Hippeastrum genus. Why are they so hard to find? They are the perfect bulb in a Florida garden. Just sayin'

Masha said...

A very beautiful and unusual amaryllis. I don't think I have seen a flower like this one before. The first picture is really captivating.

MrBrownThumb said...

LOL. I've always thought this one was a lot gaudier than the Dutch amaryllis. I bought one this month a trade show and I'm now waiting on it to come out of dormancy. Only bought it because it was so cheap, but also kinda just need to add the photo to my collection.

Terra Mirabilis said...

@Nana: Indeed, it is!

@FG: No argument from me, but note Mr. BT's comment below yours; maybe he has info about where to get them.

@Masha: I hadn't seen them, either, until I bought the pot and then researched them. They should do well in your neck of the woods, though. (And I like your blog. I grow OGRs because everything else needs gallons of chemicals in the summer humidity.)

@MBT: Well, each to his own. :D
The bulbs have to be pretty big before they flower, which only lasts a few days. The bulbs are producing lots of offsets, which is a nice bonus.

And for everyone: FYI, like everything in the Amaryllis family, lubbers and snails love them, so beware!

Susan said...

What a unique looking bromeliad. How nice to see something the color combination.

Giga said...

Ten amarylis jest śliczny.Mój domowy jest biały .Bardzo lubie kształty tych kwiatów. Pozdrawiam

Terra Mirabilis said...

Dziękuję, Giga! Please come back.

Terra Mirabilis said...

I received a catalog from Breck's, a Dutch bulb mail order company, and was surprised to see the butterfly amaryllis listed, so if anyone wants one, try http://brecks.comproduct.asp_Q_pn_E_17897.

Note that they are not cheap!