Descriptio Novi Generis Plantae Reaissimae
et speciosissimae Africanae

Laurentii Heisteri (1753)

This work deals with the plant Heister chose to call Brunsvigia gigantea, but which Linnaeus had already named Amaryllis orientalis. The modern name is Brunsvigia orientalis (L) Heist.

Heister discussed the various publications in which descriptions and plates of this plant had appeared. On page 17 is the marginal note: "Ferrarii flos quoque exhibetur a Meriano et Morisono." That is, Ferrari's flower was exhibited by Merian and Morison.

This may be the source of Philip Miller's error (Gardeners Dictionary, 1754) in which he identified the Mexican lily (Amaryllis Belladonna L) with a phrase-name intended for the Brunsvigia.

"In Florilegio MERIANI renovato et aucto, quod Francofurti ad Moenum in mea patria a. 1641 in fol. prodiit, Tab. 18, 19 et 20 eadem Ferrarii planta, servato nomine Ferrarii, Narcissi scilicet indici flore liliaceo sphaerico, licet cum Narcissis in flore nihil quicquam fere habeat simile, tribus tabulis, ex Ferrarii libro, supra laudato, depromatis, sine ullo additamento aut mutatione exhibetur."

The thing to note is that Merian's Florilegio of 1641 is not Maria Sibylla Merian's Metamorphosis of 1705, but a work produced by her father, Matthäus, for Theodore de Bry.

In addition, Heister described the Cape Belladonna as Liliago several years before Linnaeus named it Amaryllis reginae.