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.

Habranthus robustus Herb. ex Sweet

Robust bulbous perennial with slender linear leaves which emerge in summer at about the same time as the stems that bear solitary, open funnel-shaped, pale pink flowers resembling a small Amaryllis belladonna.  To 30cm.  The largest of the Habranthus genus commonly grown.  [RHSE, Hortus, Baker Am.].  

Horticultural & Botanical History

The first detailed botanical description appears to be that of Sprengel in 1824 as Amaryllis berteroi [Syst. Veg. vol.2, p.49/1825]. It was published as Habranthus robustus by Herbert in 1831 [BFG vol.4, t.14/1831]. It seems likely that Herbert had previously published the specific name robusta, perhaps as Amaryllis robusta, but I have found no reference for this.

Habranthus robustus was imported by Mr. Mackay. from the neighbourhood of Buenos Ayres; from whence he has received several other species, apparently of the same genus. Habranthus comes nearly to Zephyranthes, but differs in having the style and filaments declined and fasciculated, and the filaments of 4 lengths, which, in Zephyranthes are of alternate lengths, suberect and conniving. The petals of Habranthus are also of 4 different breadths. The genus may generally be recognised by blacker bulbs, and stiffer harder leaves. The figure was taken from a bulb which flowered at Spofforth, in July. This beautiful species flowers repeatedly, and ripens its seed very readily. W.H.’ [BFG vol.4, t.14/1831].

‘This is a native of Chili and Peru; it has been lately introduced into this country, with many more of this shewy class.’  [LBC no.1761/1833].  Introduced to Europe in 1827.  [JD].  OFG f.238/1854.

History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1845, 1850 and 1857 catalogues [B.201/1845].  A very reliable perfomer in the gardens, its numerous flowers producing a magnificent display after spring and summer rains..


Published May 08, 2009 - 04:38 PM | Last updated Jul 09, 2012 - 03:20 PM

The image depicts the leaves and open funnel-shaped deep pink flower.  Loddiges Botanical Cabinet no.1761, 1833.

Habranthus robustus Herb. ex Sweet | LBC no.1761/1833 | RBGS 


Family Amaryllidaceae
Region of origin

South America

  • Amaryllis robusta (Herb. ex Sweet) Sweet ex Steud.
  • Amaryllis berteroi Spreng.
  • Atamasco taubertiana (Harms) Greene
  • Habranthus berteroi (Spreng.) M.Roem.
  • Zephyranthes robusta (Herb. ex Sweet) Baker
  • Zephyranthes taubertiana Harms
  • Zephyranthes taubertii Harms


Common Name

Argentine Rain Lily

Name in the Camden Park Record

Habranthus robustus


Confidence level high