The Gardeners' Chronicle. July 21, 1928. p. 49. fig. 21.
A. Worsley, Isleworth
A cold-house bulb was sent to the Royal Gardens, Kew, shortly before the late Mr. J. G. Baker retired from the post of the head of the Herbarium. One of his last acts was to make a request that a bulb from this importation should be sent to me, and this flowers every year in my garden. Although it came from the Argentine Republic it is thought to be indigenous to Uruguay.
As to the correct specific name of this plant, and of some of its allies, few, if any, of these plants are now in cultivation in our gardens, and it seems a hopeless task to pursue the specimens (often fragmentary) in our herbaria, and the descriptions given by various writers, some of whom were not well acquainted with the genus, in order to standardise their specific names. Faced by this lack of reliable data, it is necessary to accept whatever specific names have been given already, unless they are clearly in error, but it must not be supposed that this acceptance carries with it any guarantee of specific rank.
From many parts of South America have been obtained Hippeastrums with a white ground and with the typical vittate markings of the well-known H. vittatum, which was introduced into our gardens in 1769 from Peru; the H. breviflorum, of Herbert, from the Argentine Republic, and the H. Tweedianum, of Hooker's Herb., with H. Arechavaletae described below, are clearly not to be all included in the same species. But it is interesting to reflect how these riband markings of red on a white ground seem to be practically ineradicable, and reappear in many of our garden Hippeastrums after about one hundred generations since the "blood" of H. vittatum was introduced by hybridisation.
H. Arechavaletae, in common with these riband-marked species generally, carries more flowers to the umbel than do our garden forms, and gives an average of six flowers to each spike of blooms (Fig. 21). One other character is apparently linked with the two given above, and that is fragrance. In this genus there are no other species than those with white flowers, or white banded with red, which are fragrant. H. vittatum types, H. Arechavaletae and H. solandriflorum, are all fragrant. This character extends, in some degree, to our vittate-marked garden forms, but not to the self-white form raised recently, and which is apparently an albino form of another section of our garden Hippeastrums.
Apart from botanical interest, H. Arechavaletae and the vittate form generally are well worth growing, planted out in a cold house with a dry covering in times of severe frost. They are quite deciduous, are hardier than our garden Hippeastrums, and need no support from sticks.
H. Arechavaletae Baker