Amaryllis is the generic name of the plants belonging to the genus Hippeastrum of the family Amaryllidaceae. About 90 species exists in Latin America or the West Indies. The reason why these plants are called Amaryllis is because they used to be classified into the genus Amaryllis.
There are only two proper species belonging to the genus Amaryllis that should be called Amaryllis. These are Amaryllis belladonna and A. paradisicola, which are native to South Africa. A. belladonna is sold as a summer planting bulb, however only a small amount are bought in Japan. It is horticulturally distributed using the name of Belladonna lily so as to avoid any mix up with the Amaryilises that have moved into the genus Hippeastrum. However, despite the name of Belladonna lily, it has no relation to the Belladonna (Deadly nightshade ( Atropa bella-donna)) belonging to the family Solanaceae or the lily belonging to the family Liliaceae. Their names get quite complicated owing to the change of the genus classification and attention is required.
Amaryllis is the typical species of spring planting bulbs; that usually blooms in May when it is planted in April. However, Shirosuji-amaryllis is an exception; it extends flower stems from the end of spring until autumn, when the flower blooms in autumn. The flower of Shirosuji-amaryllis is trumpet-shaped and is about 10 cm in diameter. There is a deep-pink web-like pattern inside the white petals, which characterises the flower.
Shirosuji-amaryllis grows up to about 50cm in height. The leaf is rather thick and is up to 30 to 40cm in length. There is a pure white variegation along the full length of the mid-rib on the leaf, which creates a good contrast with the deep-green of the leaf. The petals also have a white stripe along their length but the name Shirosuji, meaning white-lined, comes from the white line on the leaf (rather than the petal).
Shirosuji-amaryllis contains a poisonous substance called lycorine in its bulb and other parts, just as other plants belonging to the family Amaryllidaceae do.
|Scientific name||Hippeastrum reticulatum (L'Her.) Herb.|
(Hippeastrum reticulatum var. striatifolium (Herb.) Herb.)
|Native locality||southern Brazil (Linhares, Espiritu Santo)|
|Planting place||Sun Gallery (in a pot)|