Cape Belladonna - 1744
George Ehret

George Ehret's famous Cape Belladonna is labeled "Lilio-Narcissus Americanus Belladona dictus par. bat.", incorrectly identifying it as the plant described and illustrated by Paul Hermann in his Paradisus Batavus (1698). Furthermore, Hermann did not use the name "Lilio-Narcissus". It was Plukenet who altered Hermann's phrase-name from "Lilium Americanum puniceo flore Bella Donna dictum." Following Hermann (1689), Plukenet also confused Morison's phrase-name for the Italian Belladonna with Aldini's "Lilionarcissus rubeus indicus", which Ehret recognized as the West Indies Red Lily.

In the 1741 edition of Gardeners Dictionary Sloane's description of the West Indies Red Lily was still associated with the correct plant. Apparently Ehret's painting contributed to the myth that Sloane had collected this plant in Barbados.

Note: My late friend Les Hannibal pointed out that Ehret must not have based this painting on a living plant. There should be a germen (ovary) beneath each flower. In effect, Ehret painted lily blossoms on the stalk of an amaryllis.