Transactions of the Horticultural Society of London, vol. VI. p. 309-316. (1825)
Observations upon the natural Laws which govern the Production of Double Flowers,
arising out of a remarkable Case of Praeternatural Formation in the Flowers of an Amaryllis

John Lindley

Of this plant [Amaryllis crocata] the petals were in the usual position and state, except that at their points of union at the base, was a slight tendency to distortion. Inside of them were nine other petals, quite similar to the exterior, and like them united at the base in an irregularly imbricated way. These I consider to be merely supernumerary petals, no tendency to an alteration of form being perceptible in them. Next these in the inside were nine other petal like leaves, which were much distorted and frequently halved down the middle, having a more or less perfect indication of an anther on either side. Here then the multiplication was bringing on transformation, and exhibiting in an obvious manner an attempt on the part of the multiplied petals to assume the functions of stamens by the formation of a polliniferous receptacle. Upon one of the most interior of the transformed petals above the unguis, I observed the presence of that glandular fringed process, which in the perfect flower, is placed at the orifice of the tube of the corolla; where it forms a sort of annular excrescence. This fact alone might, even if unattended by any other evidence, be considered conclusive that the conversion, which was operating, was of the petals into stamens. Among the petaloid bodies were intermixed four unhealthy stamens, bearing anthers of the natural form, their filaments being neither petaloid, nor altered in any material degree from their usual appearance, except being shorter than common. The place of the ovarium was occupied by a deformed subulate process, much shorter than the petals, and cucullate at the lower end, where it enwrapped two other smaller appendages. In the usual situation no trace whatever could be perceived of ovula, but upon a more careful examination, I discovered three different places at the base of the innermost staminoid petals, where ovula were produced in sufficient abundance. In two cases the ovula proceeded from the edge of the body to which they were attached, and in the other case, two only appeared. from a point which I did not discover to be marginal with respect to any organ. In the latter instance the ovula were collateral, in the others they were imbricated vertically in a single row, as is represented in the accompanying magnified figure of a portion of the lower part of the flower.


CybeRose Note: From this description it appears that the male organs were converted partially into female, by the addition of ovula to their base, and that the ovaria themselves indicated no disposition to assume the functions of males, but were nearly obliterated.

Though the flower produced ovules "in sufficient abundance", it is not apparent that Lindley or anyone since has persuaded one to bear seed. Still, this case is not so very different from that of the double petunia. It would be worthwhile to pay careful attention to double amaryllis, looking for any indication of a willingness to set seed.