Saturday, January 23, 2016

Amaryllis - These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

If you follow me on Facebook or have been a long-time reader of Our Little Acre, you know that I'm crazy for amaryllis. I long ago lost count of how many bulbs I have, yet each year I buy a couple of new varieties just to see if that will garner a new favorite for me.

It's really difficult to choose just one, because there are now so many different ones available to us. I like 'Blossom Peacock' because the gradual shading from white to red accentuates its double blooms.

'Blossom Peacock'

Another favorite is 'Rembrandt'.


Yet another is 'Solomon'.


And 'Royal Velvet'.

'Royal Velvet'

'White Peacock'...

'White Peacock'

Oh yeah, 'Charisma', too.


I haven't even touched the cybister amaryllis yet. You know, like 'Bogota'.


See the problem here?

But when it comes down to it, if I had to choose just one amaryllis to take with me to that deserted island, the honor would go to 'Papilio'.

It was 'Papilio' that introduced me to amaryllis in 2005, and it was love at first sight. As I learned more about this species, it's no wonder it was the one that captured my affection.

'Papilio' is not actually a cultivar name, as denoted by single quotes. The true botanic name is Hippeastrum papilio, with its species name derived from the Latin for "butterfly," due to the resemblance of its blooms to a butterfly in flight. It differs from other amaryllis blooms in this way, and 2D photography doesn't capture the unique placement of the tepals.

Hippeastrum papilio

H. papilio was first discovered in 1967 in the tropical forests of southern Brazil. It is now considered to be endangered in its native habitat, due to increasing numbers of sugar cane and coffee plantations as well as urbanization.

This is an evergreen type of amaryllis, growing year round in USDA Zones 8-11. Its foliage and blooms are able to withstand brief exposures to frost. It readily produces offsets, although once separated from the mother bulb, may not bloom in its first year.

The 2016 incarnation of H. papilio is now in bloom. And I am in love all over again.

*Botanical history of H. papilio attributed to Pacific Bulb Society.


Jane Rutkowski said...

I fell in love with Amaryllis last Christmas 2014. My three plants spent the summer outside and I potted them up and they bloomed this past Christmas. Of course I bought another 4 bulbs this year. I am so ... hooked!

Donna@Gardens Eye View said...

Kylee, I also love Hippeastrum papilio...really all the have a fine collection. I am trying to get mine to bloom from last year's bulb. I was a bit late following directions so this year all I got was foliage, but at least they grew again. So I will try for next year. But I think I may have to add 'Charisma' to my the coloring! It is an addiction growing these exotic flowers. But a fun one in winter!

Diana said...

Absolutely gorgeous. I love them, too. I think we have similar tastes in amaryllis - I am particularly fond of the exotic-looking varieties like ‘Bogota.’ Hope you’re staying warm!

Renee said...

I've been debating getting some of these and trying to grow them outdoors in my zone 8B/9 garden. I worry I won't have the kind of rebloom success that you have, but something as pretty as 'Papilio' might be worth a try!

Kylee Baumle said...

Jane ~ That's what I do too, Jane. I've got two galvanized fire pit rings that I've filled with soil and all of my amaryllis bulbs reside there for the summer. They're so easy to become addicted to, aren't they? :-)

Donna ~ I too have had some only produce foliage in a subsequent year, but as you said, at least they continue to grow. I have been really late this year, so I imagine I'll have quite a few that will bloom in the garden this summer. That's always a special treat!

Diana ~ The cybisters are favorites of mine as well. Have you grown 'Emerald', by chance? That one's particularly beautiful, as is 'La Paz' and one that was new to me this year, 'Rosado'.

Renee ~ Oh you should definitely try it! I'd love it if I could leave mine in the ground year round!

RobinL said...

Wow, you really do have an amazing collection! I'm the opposite. After Christmas, I find one or two on cheap clearance, and grow those, then discard them afterwards. Just call me the lazy gardener!

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