Hippeastrum reticulatum (Amaryllis)

Native to Brazil, Amaryllis are ornamental flowering perennials with outstanding flowers resting atop scapes (flower stalks). Hybridization has led to a wide range of colors and varying characteristics.

Hippeastrum reticulatum (Amaryllis)
Deciduous: evergreen in warmer climates, no foliage during complete dormancy
Hardiness Zones: 8-10
Height: foliage typically to 45 centimeters (18 inches) tall (in arch/curve formation), taller if too heavily shaded, flower stalks (scapes) to 60 centimeters (24 inches) tall
Diameter: foliage typically to 45 centimeters (18 inches) long (in arch/curve formation), longer if too heavily shaded
Growth Rate: fast in spring (post dormancy period), slows dramatically in mid to late summer
Age: perennial
Root System: roots thick, white-cream colored, sprawling from bottom of bulb
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subspecies: var. reticulatum, var. striatifolium, many cultivars exist for gardening/ornamental purposes
Tolerates: light shade
Problems (major): Mealybugs, thrips, grasshoppers, caterpillars, and snails (if outdoors) can become serious pests consuming foliage if not detected early and treated.
Problems (minor): Flower spikes often require staking. These require a dormancy period (either completely removed the soil and kept dry in a dark place or with reduced light) of typically 4-8 weeks. Foliage may become overly lengthy if kept in too much shade. Red scorch and leaf spots may be harmful but are rarely lethal.
Poisonous: toxic to ingest
Soil requirements: prefers humusy, nutrient-rich, well-drained loamy (medium) soils
Air requirements: not sufficiently researched
Watering requirement: moderatete, keep soil minimally moist at all times
Sun requirement: full sun/bright shade in applicable zones outdoors, partial shade when grown indoors (frequently next to windowsills, protect from afternoon sun)
Leaf shape: strap-shaped, rounded end, light green (full sun) to deep green (partial shade)
Leaf size: sprawling to 45 centimeters (18 inches) long by 3 centimeters (1 inch) wide, somewhat thick
Stem: Absent, foliage and flowers emerge directly from bulb.
Flowering structure: Multiple bisexual flowers (2-4) range in color from white to pink to red to purple and sit atop a tall, green, succulent flowering stalk (scape). There may be 2 scapes per bulb.
Flowering frequency: Flowering occurs after a dormancy period, typically in spring or early summer. Foliage may emerge before the scape(s).
Subterranean storage organ: bulb, evenly rounded, to 15 centimeters (6 inches) in diameter
Notable characteristics:
The flowers are extremely showing and come in a wide range of colors due to extensive hybridization.

Amaryllis are used as ornamentals in gardens or as house plants for their exquisite blooms.

Sources used:

Several flowers emerging from a single scape


Hippeastrum_'Appleblossom'_leaf Foliage beginning to emerge from the neck of the bulb

Close-up of the flower’s anthers and stigma

All of the images provided were taken by me. They may be used for educational/informational purposes only, provided that this article/online journal is appropriately cited first. The amaryllis pictured is Hippeastrum ‘Appleblossom’.


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