Jour. Roy. Hort. Soc. (Nov. 1909) pp. 225-226

[A. Belladonna var. blanda x Brunsvigia Josephinae]


THIS bi-generic hybrid should be of great interest to those who study genetics, because the parents are so very dissimilar that we are presented with no less than 17 divergent characters to work on, and the fact that the hybrid is self-fertile will enable the subsquent generations to be analysed. Moreover the history of the hybrid is fully ascertained, and the reverse cross has been raised and flowered.

*Vide Herbert, Amaryllidaceae, p. 278.

In reference to the interesting notes published in the "Gardeners' Chronicle," vol. xlv. (1909) pp.37, 92, by Messrs. C. G. Van Tubergen, junior, Mr. W. Watson, and Mr. H. J. Elwes, I would note that it cannot be said in the same breath both that the Kew form of A. Parkeri may possibly be the progeny of the original cross made by Herbert, and also that Messrs. Van Tubergen's cross may differ therefrom because it is the reverse cross to that made by Herbert. This may be true of the A. Parkeri raised by Mr. Parker, for this was raised on A. Belladonna, but Herbert's hybrid was raised* the same way as Messrs. Van Tubergen's—that is, on Brunsvigia—the only difference being that Herbert's male parent was the var. A. blanda (now lost).

Amaryllis blanda x Brunsvigia Josephinae = A. Parkeri.
(17 divergent parental characters.)†

Bulb. a— thin tunics. A— stouter tunics.
  b— proliferous. B— non-proliferous.
  c— spherical. C— conical (8 inches to 10 inches high).
Foliage. d— forming a pseudo- stem. D— strictly radical.
  e— narrower (1 1/4 to 2 inches). E— wider (1 to 3 inches).
  f— glabrous. F— rough and dull surface.
Inflorescence. g— flowers facing one  way only. G— flowers facing in all directions.
  h— flowers not bent downwards. H— flowers bent downwards.
  j— hyacinth-scented. J— inodorous.
  k— span of flowers 4 inches. K— span of flowers 2 1/2 to 3 inches.
  l— span of umbel 9 inches. L— span of umbel 36 to 42 inches.
  m— pedicels short (less than three inches). M— pedicels long (12 to 18inches).
  n— flowers few (5 to13). N— flowers many (17 to 40).
  p— whitish or blush-pink above. P— purple-red to brick-red above.
Fruit. q— spherical. Q— bull-headed and lobate.
  r— seeds semi-transparent, pearly white or rosy. R— seeds green, opaque.
  s— reaches flowering stage in England in about 6 years. S— reaches flowering stage in England after 25 years or more.

In these 17 divergent characters the hybrid followed the male in 1 only, the female in no less than 11, and was equipoised in the remaining 5  characters. The formula is—

*As all the individuals I have seen in flower are presumably offsets from one plant, there is practically no variation from this formula among them. But doubtless the formula will vary in other individual hybrids.

This hybrid is fertile, and I have twice raised self-fertilized seeds upon it, and have seedling plants now growing none of which show any great divergence from the hybrid type in their bulbs or leaves.

In examining the hybrid characters in which the blood of the male parent is evident, it so happens that in most of them the only evidence is in increased size and in number of flowers just those characters that are influenced in so many cases by generous treatment and the appearance of which do not necessarily presuppose hybridization. Again colour is often variable, and much depends upon the structure and temperature in which the plants are grown. So that the only strong evidence in favour of hybrid origin is in the changed structure of the umbel, which has become regular instead of irregular. Hence Mr. Baker did not feel justified in citing this plant as of hybrid origin when it was first presented for determination at Kew. Moreover, at that time much uncertainty surrounded the traditionary origin of the plant, and no authority could be traced for any definite parentage. But since then evidence has been gradually accumulating. The two genera have been recently crossed in at least three different gardens—and not only so, but the reverse cross has also been made by Messrs. Van Tubergen, junior, of Haarlem, and has produced a not very dissimilar hybrid. All that now remains to be done is to analyse the second generation of self-fertilized hybrids so as to determine the mutations.

The rare Amaryllis Parkeri

The Garden: an illustrated weekly journal of gardening in all its branches. 75: 462 (Sept 23, 1911)

Amaryllis Parkeri.—A strikingly beautiful and handsome variety whose flower-crowned stem is fully 3 feet in height. There were nearly thirty flowers and buds, the pedicels inclining from sub-erect to horizontal and displaying the fragrant rose-coloured flowers to advantage. The beauty of the flower is enhanced by the orange yellow colouring which is seen at the base, both internally and externally. The plant shown is practically synonymous with Amaryllis Belladonna Kew variety, but the flowers of the former possess more of the lovely orange yellow shade. In this respect it may be regarded as an improved Kew variety. Our illustration on page 460 shows this particularly interesting variety flowering for the first time in Gunnersbury House Gardens, where the true Belladonna Lily is flowering exceptionally well this year. A great difference between the type and variety may be seen in the flower-heads. There are less flowers in the type and all of them face one way, whereas the flowers of the variety are borne in a large umbel about 16 inches across. The variety is said to be a bigeneric hybrid between Brunsvigia Josephinae, a many-flowered bulbous plant from the Cape of Good Hope, and Amaryllis Belladonna. The bulbs of the new-comer were received by Mr. James Hudson, V.M.H., about six years ago from an amateur friend in New Zealand, but it was not until the present summer that they were persuaded to flower. From Mr. Leopold de Rothschild, Gunnersbury House, Acton.

Amaryllis Parkeri alba.—There is the same large head of flowers similarly disposed, also the rich orange tone at the base of the tube, as in the foregoing. The arrangement of the flowers is very suggestive of a pronounced, glorified white-flowered Clivia. It is very handsome. Exhibited by Mr. A. Worsley, Isleworth.

Brunsdonna Sanderae alba.—This is also a reputed hybrid between Brunsvigia Josephinae and Amaryllis Belladonna, though the evidence of the flowers alone suggests but little of this. In effect it would appear to be a good white-flowered Belladonna Lily, differing but slightly from a white-flowered form sent by Mr. Elwes. The flowers are slightly suffused orange at their bases, both internally and externally, and less erectly disposed than in the white Parkeri variety just noted. Exhibited by Messrs. Sander and Sons, St. Albans. All the foregoing were shown at Vincent Square on the 12th inst., and each received an award of merit.