Modified 13 May 2000
Herbertia 1936 p. 97
Inheritance in Hippeastrum reticulatum-stylosum Crosses
Sydney Percy Lancaster, Secretary,

Royal Agricultural & Horticultural Society of India, Calcutta


Mrs. Bury's Amaryllis stilosa


Hippeastrum reticulatum

Hippeastrum reticulatum was introduced into India prior to 1879 as I find mention of the variety in a price list of our Society for that year though a list of 1874 fails to give the name. When the variety Mrs. Garfield was introduced I have been unable to trace as our sources of reference in this respect are meagre. I have however read in some catalogue of English Nurserymen of 1880-86 that there were a number of reticulatum hybrids raised but only Mrs. Garfield survived. In William Bull's catalogue of 1882-3 1 see that reticulatum is offered at 5 shillings and a variety Pirloti at 10/6 and 15 shillings. I wonder whether the Hippeastrum Mrs. Garfield obtained from a friend in Sussex, England last year is the variety Pirloti for it is quite distinct from our Mrs. Garfield. In this connection I think it right to call attention to Bailey's Cyclopedia where on page 1493 he gives the colour of reticulatum as bright mauve or purple red whereas it is a distinct pink. However it is not about reticulatum I wish to write this note but in connection with the progeny raised from H. reticulatum pollinated by H. stylosum and vice versa.

H. reticulatum and Mrs. Garfield both flower during our wet weather, i.e., July-September but stylosum and other varieties in March-April. In 1932 an out of season spike of stylosum appeared in July and all four flowers were pollinated by reticulatum and the twin flowers of reticulatum were fertilised by stylosum pollen. The reticulatum pods gave only three round Canna-like seeds but from the three stylosum pods that ripened I obtained 61 plump seeds and a large number of papery ones. In due time all 64 seedlings showed above ground and surprised me by displaying a thin white midrib. Today I have the sixty four bulbs but many have not made much growth, most bulbs being the size of a hazel nut or smaller but five or six, are an inch and a half in diameter. The variation in length of leaf runs from 10 to 13 inches with an average width of an inch and a half, the midrib is represented as a thin line or striping to a width of an eighth inch. The reticulatum trio have darker foliage and the stripe is whiter than the others and the base on the reverse flushed wine red as in reticulatum.

Two bulbs flowered last August, both pink though there was a difference in shade between pure reticulatum and the hybrids but the netting was present, one was twin flowered and the second bore four blooms which were more or less like stylosum in shape. I am looking forward to the remaining bulbs flowering and hope there will be sufficient variation from normal to warrant the experiment.

Note the measurements of foliage of the following:—
stylosum, length 15"-18", width 1 1/2"
reticulatum, 12", width 2 1/2", stripe 1/4"
Mrs. Garfield, 15"-16", width 2", stripe 3/8"
Pirloti (?), 14", width 3", stripe 1/2" to 3/4"
hybrids, 10"-13", width 1 1/2" stripe from a thin line 1/32" to several stripes.


Garden and Forest August 19, 1896 p. 333
Foreign Correspondence.
London Letter.

Hippeastrum stylosum and H. reticulatum.—These two closely allied species of Amaryllis are now in flower in the stove, and they are decidedly beautiful, even when compared with those more gaudy offspring of the genus now so popular in the garden. Hippeastrum stylosum was introduced three-quarters of a century ago, but it appears to have been lost for some time until again secured by Mr. O'Brien. It has bright green leaves an inch broad, an erect stout scape bearing an umbel of from three to eight flowers which are four inches long, trumpet-shaped, the upper part of the segments elegantly recurved and the color a close network of broad lines of rose-madder on a groundwork of a paler hue. H. reticulatum is not so rare a plant, and is grown here and there for its white-striped leaves (I have never seen a plant of it with wholly green leaves). Its flowers are like those of H. stylosum, but of a brighter red color, the reticulation also being more marked. It is an old garden plant, having been grown by Messrs. Lee, of Hammersmith, more than a century ago. Neither of these species has played any part in the production of the race of hybrid Hippeastrums.