- Class and Order
- Hexandria Monogynia
- Generic Character
- Cor. hexapetaloidea, irregularis. Filamenta fauci tubi inserta, declinata, inæqualia proportione vel directione. Linn. fil.
- Specific Character and Synonyms
- AMARYLLIS equestris spatha subbiflora, pedicellis erectis spatha brevioribus, tubo siliformi horizontali, limbo oblique patulo sursum curvo, fauce, pilosa. Linn. fil. Ait. Kew. v. 1. p. 417.
- AMARYLLIS dubia Linn. Am. Ac. 8. p. 254.
- LILIUM americanum puniceo flore Belladonna dictum. Herm. Par. Bat. p. 194. cum fig.
Mr. Aiton, in his Hortus Kewensis, has inserted this species of Amaryllis, as named and described by the younger Linnæus; he informs us, that it is a native of the West-Indies, and was introduced by Dr. William Pitcairn, in 1778: as its time of flowering is not mentioned, we may presume, that it had not blossomed in the royal garden when the publication before mentioned first made its appearance; it no doubt has since, as we have seen it in that state in the collections of several Nurserymen, particularly those of Mr. Grimwood and Mr. Colvill.
It flowers towards the end of April.
The flowering stem rises above the foliage, to the height of about a foot or more, produces from one to three flowers, similar to, but not quite so large as those of the Mexican Amaryllis, to which it is nearly related; it differs however from that plant essentially in this, that the lower part of the flower projects further than the upper, which gives to its mouth that obliquity which Linnæus describes.
The spatha is composed of two leaves, which standing up at a certain period of the plant's flowering like ears, give to the whole flower a fancied resemblance of a horse's head; whether Linnæus derived his name of equestris from this circumstance or not, he does not condescend to inform us.
Mr. Aiton regards it as a greenhouse plant; like those of many of the Ixias, however, the bulbs are of the more tender kind.
It is propagated by offsets, but not very readily.