Gardeners Dictionary - abridgement (1754)
Philip Miller

AMARYLLIS, Lily-daffodil.
The Characters are;
The Spatha or Cover, which incloses the Umbel, is of one Leaf: the Flower consists of six Petals or Leaves, and is of the Lily-shape, having six Stamina surrounding the Pointal: the stigma is trifid.

1. AMARYLLIS spatha uniflora, corolla aequali, staminibus declinatus. Lin. Lily-daffodil with a single Flower in each Cover, which is equal; and declined Stamina, commonly called, Autumnal Narcissus.

2. AMARYLLIS spatha uniflora, corolla aequali, pistillo refracto. Lin. Lily-daffodil with a single Flower in each Sheath, which has equal Petals, and the Pointal broken off, commonly called Atamasco-lily.

3. AMARYLLIS spatha uniflora, corolla inaequali, genitalibus declinatis, Lin. 135. Lily-daffodil with one Flower in each Cover, which has unequal Petals, and the Stamina are declined, commonly called Jacobaea-lily.

4. AMARYLLIS spatha multiflora, corollis aequalibus patentissimis revolutis, genitalibus longissimis. Lin. Lily-daffodil with many Flowers in one Cover; the Petals equal, spread open, and turned backward, and very long Stamina, commonly call'd Guernsey Lily.

5. AMARYLLIS spatha multiflora, corollis campanulatis aequalibus, genitalibus declinatis. Lin. Lily-daffodil with many Flowers in one Cover, the Petals equal and bell-shaped, and the Stamina declined; commonly called Belladonna Lily.

6. AMARYLLIS spatha multiflora, foliis ovato-oblongis obtusis. Flor. Leyd. Lily-daffodil with many Flowers in one Cover, and oblong blunt Leaves, commonly called Mexican Lily.

7. AMARYLLIS spatha multiflora, corollis campanulatis aequalibus, scapo compresso longitudini umbellae. Flor. Leyd. Lily-daffodil with many Flowers in one Cover; the Petals equal, and the Cover compressed the Length of the Umbel.

8. AMARYLLIS spatha; multiflora, corollis campanulatis aequalibus, scapo tereti ancipiti. Flor. Leyd. Lily-daffodil with many Flowers in one Cover; the Petals equal, and the Cover taper and double-headed; commonly called Zeylon Lily.

9. AMARYLLIS spatha multiflora, foliis ciliatis. Flor. Leyd. Lily-daffodil with many Flowers in one Cover, and the edges of the Leaves hairy; commonly called the African scarlet Lily.

10. AMARYLLIS spatha uniflora, corollis aequali, stamnibus erectis. Lily-daffodil with one Flower in a Cover, with equal Petals, and erect Stamina; commonly called Spring yellow Lily-narcissus.


To bring the abridgement into conformity with the folio version, Miller employed the genus name "Amaryllis" and phrase-names introduced by Linnaeus in Hortus Cliffortianus in 1738, and used by Royen in Flora Leydensis. Linnaeus had introduced binomials in 1753, but they had not yet caught on.

Linnaeus's phrase-name for the Scarlet Belladonna is here associated with the Cape Belladonnas (Portuguese & Italian). Sloane is not mentioned here, but his phrase-name for the American plant was cited by Linnaeus. By 1755, at the latest, Miller would write that Sloane had collected Cape Belladonnas in Barbados. It is interesting to note that the Mexican Lily "is common to all the Islands in the West-Indies", and was not considered a new species as Sealy (1939) claimed. Miller gave it the Flor. Leyd. phrase-name for the plant Linnaeus had already named Amaryllis orientalis, and which Heister changed to Brunsvigia gigantea. Miller's use of phrase-names is inconsistent and sometimes inaccurate, but useful as an indication of some contemporary confusion. In 1753, Heister published his monograph on the genus Brunsvigia. In that work he made the remarkable statement that Merian had depicted Ferrari's plant. However, the plant in question was his Brunsvigia gigantea (=orientalis L), and the painter was not Maria Sibylla, but her father Matthäus (Mathia). I have omitted the cultural instructions and additional description which is much like that of the 1759 edition.

3 March 2000: Today I received photocopies of the Amaryllis descriptions from the 1752 edition of Miller's Gardeners Dictionary. In that work, Miller already gave the name Amaryllis spatha multiflora, foliis ovato-oblongis obtusis Flor. Leyd. to the Mexican lily. I have not seen Flor. Leyd., so I don't know how Miller confused the American plant with Brunsvigia orientalis (L) Heist.