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Curtis's Botanical Magazine

Amaryllis Belladonna ().   Belladonna Lily
Class and Order.
Hexandria Monogynia.
Generic Character.—Vid. Num. 661.

Specific Character and Synonyms.
AMARYLLIS belladonna (fauce nuda, umbella multiflora) scapo solido, compresso, foliis praecociore; iis lorato-linearibus, acuto-canaliculatis, obtuso-carinatis; corolla infundibuliformi, subregulari, recta, subnutante, sursum recurvato-patente, deorsum breviter concreta, laminis lanceolatis; stigmatibus obscurius trinis; seminibus subglobosis. G.
AMARYLLIS belladonna. Linn. Sp. Pl. 421. Syst. Veg. Murr. 320. J. Mill. illustr. ic. L'Herit. Sert. Angl. 12. Hort. Kew. 1. 417. Mart. Mill. Dict. Willd. Sp. Pl. 2, 54. exclusis passim Sloane, Herman, Seba, Merian et Swartz AMARYLLIDEM equestrem volentibus.
AMARYLLIS spatha multiflora corollis campanulatis aequalibus genitalibus declinatis. Mill. Dict. 5. ic. xxiv. (errore sculptoris, rectius xxiii.) 15.
LILIONARCISSUS indicus flore elegantissime purpurascente. Weinm. Phyt. 3. p. 276. t. 653. f. A.
NARCISSUS polyanthos liliacino flore. Rudb. Elys. 2. p. 48. f. 7. (fig. Ferrarii).
LILIONARCISSUS rubeus indicus. Ald. Hort. farnes. 83. t. 82.
NARCISSUS indicus liliaceus diluto colore purpurascens. Ferrar. Flor. 117. t. 121.
Cape Day-Lily with the blush flower. Pet. Gaz. t. 85. f. 5.
() autumnalis; corolla magis colorata.
() vernalis; corolla pallidiore.
     Specimen spontaneum capense varietatis b. ipso R. S. Praeside lectum in suo herbario reponitur. G.
     For the above complete synonymy we have to thank Dr. Dryander.
     Bulb about the size of a swan's egg, covered with numberless integuments of the same nature as those we described in the article AMARYLLIS humilis. Scape solid, ancipital-compressed, of a cinnamon colour deeply tinged with carmine, preceding the leaves. Involucre bivalved, oblong, rather blunt, twice longer than the pedicles and nearly of the same colour, enclosing an 8-10 flowered umbel of large fragrant flowers, whose lower part is greenish white, upper suffused with rose colour or pale carmine and veined. Pedicles 2-3 times longer than the germen, with which they are so insensibly connected that the joint is scarcely to be discerned. Corolla subregular, funnelform, rather straight, nodding; segments shortly connate, unguiculately attenuate, laminae lanceolate, slightly concave, recurved-patent, inner broadest, outer terminated by a membranously hooked cuspis. Organs declined-assurgent; filaments adhering to the lower part of the corolla, alternately shorter; anthers incumbent. Germen bluntly trigonal, subturbinate, agreeing with pedicles and scape in colour. Style longer than the stamens, triquetral, gracilescent. Stigma regular, while others not infrequently have the upper segments more complex than the lower. According to the splendid plate in J. Miller's illustration, the seeds are few and subglobose, not flat, membranously winged and chaffy, as in vittata and longiflora. May not (the Cape plant) differ in this respect and have flat winged seed; if so, can it be deemed a variety? We suspect in fact it is a distinct species.
     () Was introduced into this country from Portugal in 1712, but where native is yet doubtful; the channel through which the plant has been received makes it more than probable that it is a Brazil vegetable. The older Botanists call its country India, which with them may mean the East-Indies, South-America, or even some parts of Africa:    , which Miller tells us only differs in having paler flowers and blooming in the Spring instead of the Autumn, comes from the Cape of Good Hope, where it was found by Sir Joseph Banks. This was also sent by Van Royen from Holland to Miller in 1754, and flowered in the Chelsea Garden: () is very common in gardens near Lisbon and Florence, at the last of which places it is sold in the markets under the name of the Belladonna Narcissus. Our seedsmen receive the bulbs yearly in abundance from Portugal, and these when planted close to the foot of a southern wall will blow annually, after they are once settled, which they are not in less than two or three years; they then produce offsets in plenty: their time of expansion is October. This species is by no means so commonly cultivated as we should have imagined, from its beauty, fragrance, and easy culture, it would have been before this time. G.

Comments: It is interesting to note that this plant was referred to Linnaeus's Amaryllis Belladonna of the Species Plantarum though all his synonyms were excluded. Also, the Hort. Farn. (1625) was mentioned, though the plant described there is clearly of an American species.

Even at this late date the author firmly believed that the Belladonna lily was American, despite the obvious similarity to the pale Belladonna collected at the Cape of Good Hope. Here, too, we see guesses replacing facts. The author suggests that the pale flowered variety is a distinct species because it might have winged seeds. Herbert followed suit by guessing that Amaryllis reticulata might have fleshy seeds like the Cape plants.