Hippeastrum is a genus of about 90 species and more than 600 hybrids and cultivars of bulbous flowering plants in the family Amaryllidaceae. It is popularly but often mistakenly known as amaryllis. Hippeastrum is a Greek work for Knight's star or Horseman's star. Hippeastrum is grown throughout the tropical regions of Central and South America, and is popularly grown in beds and borders in sub-tropical and tropical areas around the world.

Hippeastrum is a popular and easy-growing indoor plant, but can also be planted outside in the temperature areas. The bulb, 5-12 cm diameter is tender and should not be exposed to frost. Each bulb produces about 2-7 strap-like, evergreen or deciduous basal leaves, 30-90 cm long and 2.5-5 cm wide. The hollow flowering stem is upright, 30-75 cm long and 2.5-5 cm wide. Depending on species and cultivars, the plant bears 2-15 large flowers, 13-20 cm across, with six brightly colored tepals (three inner petals and three outer sepals). The color of the flower includes white, pink, red, orange, yellow, or pale green with variation such as different colored stripes and edges on the petals. Some flowers have uniform colors, while some have more pronounced colors on the petals than on the sepals.

There are five types of flowers: single, double, miniature, cybister and trumpet. Cybister is spider-like with very thin petals, while trumpet has flared, tube-shaped flowers. Those typically sold by nurseries and other stores during holiday seasons are single, double and miniature types.

Hippeastrum prefer bright indirect light when growing indoors, and shade when growing outdoors. Plant it in fertile, well-drained soil, and sufficient watering during the growing period. Bulbs are dormant in winter, and require little (outdoor) or no watering (indoor). Hippeastrum dislike root disturbance and flower best when left alone. Shake the bulb free of the old mixture and replant.

Propagation is by seeds or bulb offsets.

Hippeastrum 'Candy Floss'Hippeastrum 'Candy Floss'
Author: Pedro Gutierrez L. (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic)

 Index of 690 Plants in The Flowering Garden

Copyright © 2008-2018 The Flowering Garden. All Rights Reserved.