Deeze roode Lelien
Maria Sibylla Merian

This plate of "Lilium Rubrum" by Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717) was first published in her Metamorphosis Insectorum Surinamensium of 1705.

She identified this plant as the Lilio-narcissus polyanthos, flora incarnato, fundo ex luteo albescente Sloan Cat. Jamaic. and Hermann's Lilium Americanum puniceo flore Bella dona dictum of the Prodromus paradisi Batavus.

"This lily comes from a white bulb which grows wild in the countryside; its leaves—which are green—have a satiny luster; nobody knows its [other] characteristics; I brought a couple of bulbs with me (from Surinam). They have this in the garden of Holland, where they bear blossoms before having their leaves."

... proof that the Red Lily was in Holland before Linnaeus was born, and 30 years before he stayed with Clifford.

Dean William Herbert claimed that Merian, who lived and painted in Surinam for two years, alluded to the pink & white Cape Belladonna described by Barrelier in 1714. The date, and this color plate, make Herbert's claim untenable.

This painting shows clearly why Linnaeus found this species to be without equal in beauty among the species listed in Hortus Cliffortianus.

Note that this picture shows two open blooms and two buds—fully justifying Linnaeus's use of "multiflora" in his description.