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 ‘Dido’

A hybrid, Crinum zeylanicum L. x Crinum pedunculatum R.Br.  Originally Crinum scabro-pedunculatum hybrid no.3 in Macarthur’s notebook but the hybrid probably created by John Bidwill.

Resembling No. 1 [‘Cleopatra’] but plants not so vigorous and with shorter column.  Flowers very large size and broader in the petal than ‘Augusta’.  The stripe in the centre of each narrower and paler but quite regular, no colour outside. [MP A2948 Notebook no.4, p.3].

In 1846 Macathur described C. scabro-pedunculatum hybrid no. 4 as much the same as no. 3, probably the same, and in more detailed notes named it ‘Dido’: Less robust in habit than no.1 [‘Cleopatra’].  Leaves 8 inches broad at the base and more pointed, column shorter.  Scape 2 feet, flowers 15 measuring about 7-7½ inches, petals very broad at base, more than 1¼ inches, diminishing towards the points, pure white with a narrow carmine stripe not extending to the point of the petal.  Very handsome variety. [MP A2948 Notebook no.4, p.8].  Elsewhere hybrid no.4 is named ‘Helen’, which see.

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 - 01:28 PM | Last updated Jul 04, 2012 - 04:49 PM

Family Amaryllidaceae
Region of origin

Garden origin, Camden Park

Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Crinum scabro-pedunculatum var. ‘Dido’


Confidence level high