The Amaryllis Family: Hybrids of genus Hippeastrum

The following information has been contributed by members of the I.B.S. E-Mail Robin for your enjoyment.
The genus Hippeastrum contains the plants we usually think of as "amaryllis". The huge bulbs of hybrid amaryllis we find in the supermarkets and garden shops are the results of 300 years of hybridizing the genus Hippeastrum in the greenhouses of Holland.

The wild species of Hippeastrum grow in South America, from Peru and Brazil to Argentina. The following are examples of primary hybrids and selections of species Hippeastrum:


[lapacense X nelsonii]
Hippeastrum [iguazuanum x leopoldii]
[iguazuanum X leopoldii]

parodii 'Germa'

striatum hybrid


Hippeastrum x-johnsonii [Hippeastrum reginae X Hippeastrum vittatum] apparently originated in the 19th century in England. It is said to be the hardiest of the Hippeastrum, and is widely found in old gardens in the Southeaastern USA, where it appears to be somewhat naturalized. It is fertile but a reluctant parent. Hippeastrum x-ackermanii is the hybrid [Hippeastrum aulicum X H. x-johnsonii] and looks very similar to x-johnsonii.

For more Hippeastrum species, [click here].

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For information about this account, contact:

James E. Shields,

Last revised: 08 January 2007

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