The Garden November
19, 1898 p. 414
THE KEW BELLADONNA LILY
|Amaryllis Belladonna (Kew variety) and the type. From a photograph sent by Mr. W. Watson.|
This is far superior to all other known varieties of the Belladonna Lily. It was supposed to be a hybrid, Brunsvigia Josephinae being the other parent, but no trace of the characters of the latter can be found in it beyond the large number of flowers in each umbel. Whatever its origin, it has proved a first-rate garden plant at Kew, where it is grown against the south wall of the tropical Orchid house and also in an unheated frame. Every autumn it has produced its magnificent flower-heads, and it has increased rapidly by means of bulb-division. In the same border there are numerous plants of the type, and the difference between these and the Kew variety is most marked. The former has leaves an inch wide, a scape 18 inches high, and an umbel of from six to ten flowers, rarely the latter number. These open three or four together, and they have narrow, pointed segments coloured rose-pink, paler inside. The Kew variety has leaves 2 inches wide, a scape 3 feet long and 1 1/2 inches in diameter at the base, and an umbel of twenty or more flowers (that here figured bore twenty-six) which are nearly all open together as in the Jersey Lily (Nerine sarniensis). They are larger and have broader, less pointed segments than the type, and their colour is bright rose-crimson, changing to almost pure crimson with age. In the photograph, which was taken by Mr. A. Griessen, an inflorescence of the type and of the Kew variety are shown side by side. Bulb fanciers generally who have seen this plant at Kew agree in calling it the handsomest of all outdoor bulbous plants. It has been distributed from Kew to a few gardens, so that no doubt it will soon be abundant. W. W.