Photo Credit: Bella Coladonato
Location: Special Exhibit Gallery
Featured in the Butterfly Exhibit are showy, bright red flowers of what is commonly referred to as
Amaryllis. These flowers, however, are actually a
Hippeastrum hybrid. The name confusion of
Amaryllis/Hippeastrum can be traced back 250 years to the father of taxonomy, Carl Linnaeus. It wasn't until 1987 at the 14th International Botanical Congress that the scientific name and classification was settled.
Modern classification of
Hippeastrum refers to a genus of approximately 90 species (and 600 hybrid) native to South America and the Caribbean.
Amaryllis, a genus in the same family, is comprised of only two species (
Amaryllis belladonna and
A. paradisicola) both native to South Africa. To add to the name confusion,
Amaryllis is often used as a common name for species and cultivars in the
Hippeastrum genus. The genus name,
Hippeastrum, comes from Greek roots and translates to knight's star, which may be a reference to the flower's resemblance to the knight's medieval weapon.
What's in Bloom
page to see what other beauties are blooming throughout the galleries.