Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Crinum scabro-pedunculatum ‘Augusta’

Crinum zeylanicum Herb. x Crinum pedunculatum R.Br.  Originally Crinum scabro-pedunculatum hybrid no.2 in Macarthur’s notebook. 

Much the same as the preceding [‘Cleopatra’] except that the flowers are larger, petals longer and more reflexed.  The stripe in the centre of each is narrower, not so well defined and of lighter carmine, and the outside of each, at the point, is of a rich purplish crimson gradually shading off into the ground colour.  [MP A2948 Notebook no.4, p.3].

‘Augusta’ was also described in John Bidwill’s notebook.  This suggests that this variety at least, and possibly all of them, was hybridised by Bidwill, although he does not specifically make this claim.

Raised at Camden 1841, first flowered Christmas 1844.  Bulb somewhat pear-shaped with a thick column, not naturally above ground, stained with red.  Leaves scabrous 4 to 5 feet long, 5½ inches at their broadest point, the greater portion pendulous, resting on the ground, very like scabrum but much more robust.  Scape 2 ft 6 ins high bearing 17 or 18 flowers which are sessile.  The tube 5 inches, petals 4½ to 5 inches, outer about 1 inch, inner 1¼ ins broad, reflexed when fully expanded.  Shape nearly that of pedunculatum but broader, not elliptic like scabrum, and 8 or 10 open at once.  The flower when fully expanded 7½ ins across, pure white with a distinct stripe rather paler and brighter than that of scabrum.  About 1 inch of the outside of the inner segments is coloured like the stripe, lips green.  Anthers yellow, pollen apparently perfect.  Filaments dark red approaching one another as in scabrum.  A superb variety superior to either parent in almost every respect. [Bidwill p.7].

Horticultural & Botanical History

See Crinum scabro-pedunculatum no.5.

History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1845, 1850 and 1857 catalogues as Crinum scabro-pedunculatum [B.93/1845].  This name presumably covers all the hybrids raised, some of which were named after 1845.  Crinum scabro-pedunculatum varieties ‘Augusta’, ‘Cleopatra’, ‘Helen’, ‘Dido’ and ‘Thisbe’ were hand-written in a copy of the 1850 catalogue in the Camden Park collection, signed William Macarthur and dated 1850-51 [CPA].  This catalogue also contains a full price list, the five hybrids priced at 2/6 and 5/-.  The catalogue numbers 94/2 – 94/6 were allotted them by Macarthur, presumably to assist with ordering.  They are also listed on a hand-written page, 6a, in an 1850 catalogue in the Mitchell Library collection, this one signed Wm. Macarthur and dated 23rd Dec. 1854.  [ML 635.9m].  Detailed descriptions are given in William Macarthur’s gardening notebooks [MP A2948], with additional material on ‘Augusta’ in Bidwill’s notebook [Bidwill p.7]. 

It seems highly likely that the bulk of the notes on the Crinum scabrum Herb. x Crinum pedunculatum R.Br. hybrids in Macarthur’s notebooks are in John Bidwill’s hand, with additional pencil notes by William Macarthur.


Published May 07, 2009 - 01:24 PM | Last updated Jul 04, 2012 - 04:49 PM

The photograph shows a crinum with white, reflexed petals each with a central red stripe.

Crinum hybrid? This flower conforms somewhat, but not exactly, to Bidwill's description of 'Augusta'. A clump of these plants were found in the garden of Camden Primary School. Photograph Colin Mills.

Family Amaryllidaceae
Region of origin

Garden origin, Camden Park

Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Crinum scabro-pedunculatum var. ‘Augusta’

Confidence level