Hippeastrum aulicum (Ker-Gawl.) Herb.

Bulbous perennial with strap-like leaves and a stout stem bearing an umbel with usually 2 funnel-shaped, crimson flowers with green throats, in winter or spring, the leaves following the flowers.  A variable species.  To 50cm.  [RHSE, Hortus, Baker Am.].  

Horticultural & Botanical History

First botanically described as Amaryllis aulica by Ker Gawler in 1817 1817 [Journal of Science and the Arts (London) vol.2. p.353/1817]. Placed in the newly created genus of Hippeastrum as Hippeastrum aulicum by William Herbert in 1821 [Herbert’s Appendix p.31/1821].

‘This noble bulb deserves to be more extensively cultivated than it has hitherto been; if properly treated it retains its gaudy flowers for a great length of time.’  [Gard. Chron. 1849].  ‘This is one of the most splendid species in the whole natural order Amaryllidaceae, and richly merits its specific name aulicum, which signifies courtly or princely.’  Introduced to Britain by Mr. Griffin in 1810.  [Fl.Ca. p.21/1839].  The Botanical Register figures the varieties stenopetala [BR f.444/1820] and platypetala (Lindl.) Herb. [BR f.1038/1827], the latter differing from the type in having broader petals and a more robust habit.  Curtis’s Botanical Magazine figures Amaryllis aulica var. platypetala, glaucophylla:  ‘I fear it must be considered one of the varieties of A. aulica, but so well marked, and so beautiful, as almost to merit the rank of a species.  [BM t.2983/1830].  It also figures a variety considered to be close to Ker’s original Amaryllis aulica.  [BM t.3311/1834].

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues [B.214/1843].


Published May 09, 2009 - 04:50 PM | Last updated Jul 13, 2012 - 01:04 PM

Illustrated is umbel with two funnel-shaped, crimson flowers with green throats.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.3311, 1834.

Hippeastrum aulicum (Ker-Gawl.) Herb. | BM t.3311/1834 | BHL.


More details about Hippeastrum aulicum (Ker-Gawl.) Herb.
Family Amaryllidaceae
Region of origin

South America

  • Amaryllis aulica Ker Gawl.
  • Amaryllis houseriana (H.Karst.) Ravenna
  • Amaryllis robusta Otto & A.Dietr.
  • Amaryllis rougieri Carrière
  • Amaryllis tettanii auct.
  • Aulica latifolia Raf.
  • Aulica platypetala (Lindl.) Raf.
  • Aulica striata Raf.
  • Hippeastrum aulicum var. platypetalum (Lindl.) Herb.
  • Hippeastrum houserianum H.Karst.
  • Hippeastrum tweedianum Herb.
  • Hippeastrum robustum A.Dietr. ex Walp.
  • Omphalissa aulica (Ker Gawl.) Salisb.
  • Trisacarpis rubra Raf.


Common Name

Lily of the palace

Name in the Camden Park Record

Hippeastrum aulicum 


Confidence level high