Ask a Question forum: Amaryllis vs Hippeastrum

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Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Sep 26, 2015 9:46 AM CST
I'm still learning...
Please, what it the genus name for the plants we normally call Amaryllis? And is there a separate genus for the 2 that are truly Amaryllis?

The plants in my yard that I call "Amaryllis" -
I was looking online at photos and saw the name "Hippeastrum" attached to what I know as Amaryllis.
I looked up the taxonomy for each of the two words and now am more confused than ever. Wiki pages tell me there are only 2 (two) Amaryllis and everything else is Hippeastrum.

Taxonomy for Amaryllis:
http://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic...

Taxonomy for Hippeastrum:
http://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic...

Oh, and this all started because I saw a photo online of a beautiful flower that was called Hippeastrum Papilio, Hippeastrum Butterfly, or Butterfly Amaryllis depending on who was writing the captions for the images...and because I had been typing incorrectly as 'papillo' it took a while to find it in our database. Smiling
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
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Moonhowl
Sep 26, 2015 11:49 AM CST
These links may help clarify things a bit hopefully. Smiling

Hippeastrum is a genus in Amaryllidaceae as is Amaryllis. http://www.pacificbulbsociety.org/pbswiki/index.php/Hippeast...

These are the genre in Amaryllidaceae

http://www.pacificbulbsociety.org/pbswiki/index.php/Amarylli...
[Last edited by Moonhowl - Sep 26, 2015 11:55 AM (+)]
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Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Sep 26, 2015 1:58 PM CST
Thank you; that does help a little. But it adds more questions...

This will take some time.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
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Moonhowl
Sep 26, 2015 3:34 PM CST
You are welcome Greene. A friend once said that if taxonomists were the only crop growers, we would all starve. Whistling


I think the cause of so much confusion is curiosity. As greater awareness of our surroundings, brilliant technological advances and the human need to " know, name and file" developed, what was once a Rose is now known as:

Kingdon Plantae -- plantes, Planta, Vegetal, plants
Subkingdom Viridiplantae
Infrakingdom Streptophyta – land plants
Superdivision Embryophyta
Division Tracheophyta – vascular plants, tracheophytes
Subdivision Spermatophytina – spermatophytes, seed plants, phanérogames
Class Magnoliopsida
Superorder Rosanae
Order Rosales
Family Rosaceae – roses
Genus Rosa L. – wildrose, rose

With over 70 direct children ( http://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic... )

At the bottom of that link there are references noted. There are dates attached to the references and you can revision dates and updates... and if you start backtracking the lineage and the language you will find that even Shakespeare was dealing with taxonomists... a Rose by any other name....
Whistling Rolling my eyes. *Blush*

Either that, or perhaps Mother Nature just likes teasing us and keeps making new species, genus/species crosses and hybrids... Confused
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Sep 26, 2015 4:03 PM CST
There was a book with the title "First Kill All the Lawyers". Perhaps they named the wrong profession. Whistling Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing

When I look on the ATP database I am offered the chance to look at "all the plants in the Amaryllis genus" - yep, they say genus. And well, um, er....Rhodophiala bagnoldii, Hippeastrum condemaitae and Sprekelia formosis are listed under the genus Amaryllis - there are more but I feel a headache coming one...
Same offer appears on the Hippeastrum database. :si gh: Shrug!
Maybe tomorrow after a good night sleep and some caffeine I will see if this looks different to my old eyes.

At least now I know there are two genus (what is the plural of that word? gernera? I'm too tired too look it up) anyway, one genus is Amaryllis and one is Hippeastrum (thank the powers that be for copy/paste!) and by next week or next month it could all change. Whistling

None of this is helped by the fact that one of my best friends is named Amarilis...yes, the name is spelled just that way.

Maybe my mother was right to only grow Petunias. Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
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Moonhowl
Sep 26, 2015 4:53 PM CST
My mother always told us that most answers lay in the Dewey Decimal system and our ability to use it to divine the secrets of the world... (no, not a librarian, but she did grow tomatoes, zinnias and children.) Green Grin!


Perhaps it may require a discussion with the moderators and Dave. The Family is Amaryllidaceae with something like 60+ genera. Maybe there should be a change in the language?

Amaryllis is the type genus for the Family Amaryllidaceae, but only has, best I could find, 2 species.

Genus Hippeastrum has over 70+ species and more than 600 hybrids.

Genus Sprekelia has 2 species, but with Hippeastrum has spawned xHippeastrelia , a hybrid (Ma Nature getting her pinkie in the mix again)
Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
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Moonhowl
Sep 26, 2015 6:08 PM CST
Looking at Hippeastrum in the Plant database, the word AMARYLLIS would need to be removed from each entry and a Note would need to be added to say that includes Genus Hippeastrum species and hybrids/crosses and no other members of the Amaryllidaceae Family.

The Amaryllis PlantDB would either have to only list the two species and cultivars within them.

An Amaryllidaceae Family/Hybrid Alliance Maybe?

Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
Sep 26, 2015 7:31 PM CST

Plants Admin

I think you're confusing the matter needlessly. If you look at Amaryllis by genus, you will find only two species.

http://garden.org/plants/browse/plants/genus/amaryllis/

The other genera are included in this list because some Amaryllis species were reclassified as species of Rhodophiala, Hippeastrum, etc. These species are included in those entries as synonyms, and that's why they show up on the Amaryllis "browsing by genus" list.

If you look at the Amaryllis database, on the other hand, you'll find that it is already an "alliance." All of the Amaryllis and Hippeastrum species and cultivars are listed there.

http://garden.org/plants/browse/plants/children/76980/

Amaryllis is added to the entries for Hippeastrum species and cultivars because it is their common name.
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
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greene
Sep 27, 2015 6:23 AM CST
There is no unnecessary complication; the question I asked was if there was one genus or two and @Moonhowl answered the question. Thumbs up

But since Zuzu jumped in to say "If you look at Amaryllis by genus, you will find only two species." I will ask another question if I may...

How is the average person supposed to know which of the many listed on the page are the two species? Are they highlighted in some way? Looking at only the list is there some way to know which are the synonyms? There are 26 plants listed; how do we select the two that are species of Amaryllis and which belong to some other genus.

I know we don't care much for The Plant List but it has 4 plants in the Amaryllis genus with 'accepted' names:
Amaryllis bagnoldii (Herb.) Traub & Uphof
Amaryllis belladonna L.
Amaryllis condenaarit Vargas & Perez
Amaryllis paradisicola Snijman

Looking at The Catalogue of Life I see two plant species in the genus Amaryllis
Amaryllis belladonna L. - accepted name of a plant species
Amaryllis paradisicola Snijman - accepted name of a plant
So that will require me going back and forth to check the many available lists, each claiming to be the correct one. Searching for the truth in taxonomy is like getting stuck between religion and politics. Rolling on the floor laughing

Oh goody Hurray! there is also an Amaryllis genus in the animal world.
Amaryllis - genus in Animalia
Amaryllis macrophthalmus Haswell - accepted name in Animalia (I think it is some kind of sea creature)

Back to our Amaryllis database:
Are Amaryllis belladonna 'Kimberly' and 'Kimberley' the same plant or two different plants?

A. belladonna 'Major', A. b. 'Purpurea', A. b. 'Purpurea major' one, two or three plants?

Is there a listing for Amaryllis belladonna elata? or has that plant been renamed and moved elsewhere?

As I said, now that I know there are two genera, one being Amaryllis and the other being Hippeastrum, there will be more questions about these two lists of plants. Sighing! The University of California seems to thing Amaryllis has only once species; other sources say there are two... Sighing! more research required. Last night I was too tired and this morning I have work to do so I will leave those questions for another day...or another month. Thumbs up

So you can see what I mean that in answering the question to my satisfaction, Thank You! @Moonhowl sparked more questions in my brain. And all this started because I saw a photo of a pretty flower on the internet. Rolling on the floor laughing

My original question has been answered. Thank You! I tip my hat to you.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Sep 27, 2015 8:47 AM CST
What you need to ask yourself is "do I really NEED to know the exact scientific name?" in order to enjoy growing the pretty flower. You can buy the Butterfly Amaryllis online in lots of places by that name, whether or not it's correct.

And BTW if you think this is complicated, you should see the mess the orchid taxonomists are making of the thousands of orchid genera - changing names every day, it seems. Just because they can now examine the plants at a cellular level, they now can re-classify plants that have been well known for a hundred years by one name as something completely different.

Again, the question is "just because you CAN re-name something doesn't mean you SHOULD.". Even long-time orchid growers have given up trying to keep up with all the name changes because their customers don't know what they're buying.

I say just roll with it and grow what you like.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Sep 27, 2015 8:59 AM CST
There is no complication for me; that was someone else talking.
I asked a question; I received an answer.
Done.

But to answer your question, yes, I do feel the need to know the botanical name of a flower if and when I purchase. If a plant seller does not know the correct/currently accepted botanical name, I move on to a different grower to make my purchase.

Orchids? I did not mention Orchids. Thanks anyway for the information.

Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Sep 27, 2015 9:34 AM CST
Sorry, no offense meant. *Blush*
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Sep 27, 2015 9:40 AM CST
None taken.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
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Moonhowl
Sep 27, 2015 11:39 AM CST
@greene I am glad I was able to answer your initial question. nodding I am sorry the answer created so many new questions, or in the vernacular: sorry for giving you a whole new can of worms. Sighing!

I was not suggesting that things be changed, just offering up what would have to be corrected to stay in line with current taxonomic nomenclature. Blinking When I was in school we were taught about the classification of plants and animals.

Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus Species. There was even a phrase to help remember them :
Keep Paying Casey Off For Great Sales

Now you have Subkingdoms, Infrakingdoms, divisions, subdivisions...
I found this note at the bottom of a site ( http://anthro.palomar.edu/animal/animal_3.htm )

NOTE: Because science is constantly expanding our knowledge of living things, the precise details of how organisms are classified in the Linnaean system are frequently in flux. This is not due to confusion but rather to the evolution of our understanding brought about by new discoveries ...

Sounds good, but while it may not be due to confusion, it certainly does cause confusion. nodding
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Sep 27, 2015 1:20 PM CST
I am happy with the original answer. Thank You! It was a perfect answer.

Because I am dyslexic I often see things that aren't there, so to speak. Before I asked the question I had been looking at the genus Amaryllis and finding Hippeastrum; then looking at Hippeastrum and finding Amaryllis Blinking Blinking Confused I seriously thought it was me. Can't tell you how many times I went back and forth to see if the words would look different. Now that I know there are two genera, I can rest easy.

Short funny episode:
Driving down Abercorn Street I passed the Jewish Community center where there was a sign advertising "Swiss Lemons". That didn't look right so I turned right onto DeRenne and drove around the block; yep, sign still says "Swiss Lemons". Confused It was maybe the 3rd or 4th time around the block that my brain finally registered what the sign actually read..."Swim Lessons". See, dyslexia can be fun if you do it right! Thumbs up

So it was with the Amaryllis/Hippeastrum until you drove around the block for me and helped me to see the answer. Thank You!
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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zuzu
Sep 27, 2015 1:23 PM CST

Plants Admin

Moonhowl said:Looking at Hippeastrum in the Plant database, the word AMARYLLIS would need to be removed from each entry and a Note would need to be added to say that includes Genus Hippeastrum species and hybrids/crosses and no other members of the Amaryllidaceae Family.

The Amaryllis PlantDB would either have to only list the two species and cultivars within them.

An Amaryllidaceae Family/Hybrid Alliance Maybe?



Greene, I should clarify that I didn't mean you were confusing the matter. I was referring to Moonhowl's post. I don't think there's any need to change anything in the database. The word "Amaryllis" does not have to be removed from the entries because it is the common name of those plants. There's no need for a "Note" because the generic entry for the Amaryllis Database already says that the information applies to every plant of the Amaryllis and Hippeastrum genera. The Amaryllis Database is already an "alliance" of those two genera.

As for the way to distinguish the two accepted Amaryllis species in the list of entries when you "browse by genus," just look at the botanical name. Only two of the entries are called Amaryllis. The others are listed as other genera, which means that the Amaryllis species are only synonyms of the currently accepted names.
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
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greene
Sep 27, 2015 1:31 PM CST
About a year ago I had someone try to explain the difference between 'browse' and 'search' with regard to the database. I gave up and admitted it is something I will never understand. I'm working with a damaged brain and doing the best I can. With me it's try and try again until I finally get it right.

Also I still can't get past the fact that for some strange reason the common name is listed first, then the botanical name which is supposed to be in alphabetical order. But again, that was something I had to give up on as my teacher's idea of alphabetical order differs from ATP.

I am happy with the answer given by Moonhowl and that's good enough for me. Thumbs up All the additional information was just so many extra calories, like adding gravy to french fries.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier The WITWIT Badge Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Moonhowl
Sep 27, 2015 2:20 PM CST
@greene, I can empathize on the dyslexia. I grew up learning to double check my eyes... Smiling

@zuzu that was not a suggestion for changes to the PDB, it was a form of extrapolation for what following the current to the letter taxon would require. To do so would require near weekly if not daily changes.

The info was, as greene said " Gravy for the French fries".

Oh, speaking of said gravy...have you ever had a French fry, gravy and mustard po-boy ? A carbohydrate dream....or nightmare depending. Rolling my eyes.
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
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greene
Sep 27, 2015 2:49 PM CST
If I answer that we will get dumped into the sandbox so I'll let that question slide. Thumbs up
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Jean
Prairieville, LA (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier The WITWIT Badge Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Moonhowl
Sep 27, 2015 6:46 PM CST
I agree Glad the links were helpful. Smiling

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