Histoire des Antilles habitées par les François (1667) pp. 110-111
Jean Baptiste Du Tertre

XIII—De deux sortes de fleurs que nos habitans appellent lys.
[13—Two types of flowers which the inhabitants call Lily.]

Il croist en plusieurs endroits de cette Isle deux sortes de lys, un blanc, & un orangé. Pour ce qui regarde le lys blanc, quoy qu'il ait l'oignon & la fuëille, semblable aux lys de France; il ná jamais passé dans mon esprit que pour le veritable Narcisse de Constantinople, de Mathiole, dont les fuëilles sont toutes semblables; l'oignon pousse au milieu de ses fuëilles une tige verte, creuse, & haute d'un pied & demy, chargée de cinq ou six petites fleurs blanches, longuettes, fort délicates, & qui jusqu'an haut de la fleur ont assez, se divise en pareil nombre d'autres, fort estroites & longues comme le doigt. Du milieu de ces fleurs, dont l'odeur n'est pas moins suave que celle de la Tubereuse, sortet quelques petits filets blancs, longs comme le doigt, & qui ont de petites languettes jaunes. Ce que nous appellons lys rouge dans les Isles, est encore une autre espece de Narcisse, qui a l'oignon, les fuëilles & la tige presque toute semblable; il porte au haut de sa tige cinq ou six belles fleurs comme des petites tulipes de couleur orangé, pâle, à fond blanc par dedans; les fuëilles de celuy-cy sont beaucoup plus minces & plus délicates que celles de nos tulipes; ils ont cinq petits fillets à languettes jaunes, mais ils n'ont point de bouton, comme la tulipe; cette fleur est fort belle, mais ette n'a point d'odeur.

There are two kinds of lilies in several places on this Isle, one white and one orange. As regards the white lily, whether it has the onion and the leaf, similar to the lilies of France; it has never passed in my mind except for the real Narcissus of Constantinople, of Mathiole, whose leaves are all similar; the bulb grows in the middle of its leaves a green stem, hollow, & a foot & a half high, loaded with five or six small white flowers, long, very delicate, & which up to the top of the flower have enough, is divided into the same number of others, very narrow & long as a finger. From the midst of these flowers, whose odor is no less suave than that of Tuberose, emerge a few small white filaments, as long as a finger, and which have small yellow tongues. The one called Red Lily of the Isles is another type of Narcissus, which the bulb, leaves and stem completely resemble; it carries on its stem 5 or 6 beautiful flowers like small tulips, pale orange with a white base on the inside; the leaves of this one are much thinner & more delicate than those of our tulips; they have five little threads with yellow tabs, but they have no button, like the tulip; this flower is very beautiful, but it has no odor.


CybeRose note: Once again the Red Lily of the West Indies is described as "orange", though pale. Du Tertre adds the detail that the base of the flower is white on the inside. The mention of 5 or 6 flowers may have been a printing error, as the White Lily is also said to have 5 or 6 flowers. Then again he may have been careless in counting, as the mention of 5 stamens suggests.

This was one of the works directed at encouraging Huguenots to emigrate to the New World. Du Tertre rushed his into print because he had received word that someone else was preparing to publish it under a different name. Compare his text and illustrations with those of Rochefort. I can't say for sure which one was the author.