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.

Hippeastrum vittatum (L’Hér.) Herb. var. superbum

Hippeastrum vittatum (L’Hér.) Herb., which see, is a variable species, the flowers whitish, striped with red and with a white keel, 6-8 leaves, to 60cm long, appearing after the flowers.  The variety superbum has not been certainly identified but can be presumed to have superior flowers.  [RHSD, Baker Am.].  

Horticultural & Botanical History

Hippeastrum vittatum was figured as Amaryllis vittata, ‘Superb Amaryllis’, in Curtis’s Botanical Magazine and this may be the source of the varietal name superbum.  ‘When it blossoms in perfection it truly deserves the name of superb, which Mr. Aiton has given it, the stem rising to the height of three feet or more, and producing from two to five flowers.’  [BM t.129/1790].  Introduced to Europe in 1769.  [Baker Am.]. 

Amaryllis vittata major was described and illustrated in John Lindley’s Collectanea Botanica.  ‘The subject of this article [Amaryllis vittata major] is another of the magnificent Liliaceous plants of South America, aquired by the unwearied exertions of W. Griffin, Esq. who has succeeded in importing so many species of that his favourite family, within a few years.  It was procured several years ago from Brazil, and, though assuredly only a variety of A. vittata, is so fine a plant, and so far superior to its prototype, that we entertain no fear of being censured for publishing it.’  [CB t.12/1821].

History at Camden Park

Desideratum to Loddiges’ Nursery on 6th January 1845.  [MP A2933-2, p.28].  Listed as Amaryllis vittata superba in both the 1830 and 1836 Loddiges’ Nursery catalogues, copies of which are held at Camden Park [CPA], and this is presumably where Macarthur obtained his information.  I have found no further record of this plant.


Published May 15, 2009 - 03:29 PM | Last updated Oct 23, 2011 - 04:33 PM

illustrated are the trumpet-shaped flowers, white, striped red with a green back.  Collectanea Botanica t.12,1821.

Hippeastrum vittatum (L’Hér.) Herb. var. superbum | CB t.12/1821 as Amaryllis vittata major | BHL

Family Amaryllidaceae
Region of origin

South America

Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) vittata var. superba 

Confidence level