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 tubispathus (L’Hér.) Traub

Half-hardy, upright, bulbous perennial with narrow, linear leaves and a succession of flowering stems, each bearing a small, funnel-shaped, coppery red, orange or yellow flower, in summer.  To 15cm.  [RHSE, Hortus].  

Horticultural & Botanical History

First botanically described as Amaryllis tubispatha by Charles Louis L'Héritier in 1789 [Sert. Angl. p.9/1789]. Transferred to Habranthus as Habranthus andersonii by Herbert in 1830 [BR t.1345/1830], and correctly named Habranthus tubispathus by Traub in 1951 [Plant Life vol.7, p.42/1951].

‘This bright-coloured Habranthus was sent to Mr. Mackay by his collector, Mr. Anderson, with some other species, from Monte Video, in the spring of 1829.  The bulbs flowered abundantly in the greenhouse of Mr. Mackay, at Upper Clayton, in April and May 1830; but the flowers do not expand well unless the sun shines bright and warm.  They are either golden or copper coloured, with brownish red streaks on the outside, and forming within a dark eye to the flowers.’  [William Herbert, quoted in BR f.1345/1830]. 

Baker considers Zephyranthes texana to be a separate species, introduced by Drummond in 1835.  [Baker Am.]   Curtis's Botanical Magazine figures Habranthus andersonii var. texanus with bright yellow flowers, flushed red outside.  [BM t.3596/1837].  This journal also figured Amaryllis tubispatha, but this plant may be Zephyranthes puertoricensis.  [BM t.1586/1813].  OFG f.239/1854.  LBC no.1677/1832.  

History at Camden Park

Listed in all catalogues as both Habranthus andersonii [B.199/1843] and Zephyranthes tubispatha [B.460/1843]. Habranthus tubispathus is a somewhat variable species, the Texan plants often much yellower and sometimes referred to as variety or sub-species texanus.  It seems likely that Macarthur’s plants did vary in some obvious way, such as in colour.  The earlier plants may have been lost as Macarthur included Habranthus Andersonii among desiderata to Loddiges’ Nursery, 6th January 1845.  [MP A2933-2, p.28]. Both the more northerly, coppery-red and the southerly yellow forms have been re-introduced to the gardens.


Published May 08, 2009 - 04:20 PM | Last updated Jul 13, 2012 - 12:56 PM

The image depicts the bulb and a single, yellow, vase-shaped flower.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.3596, 1837.

Habranthus tubispathus (L’Hér.) Traub var. texanus | BM t.3596/1837 | BHL


Family Amaryllidaceae
Region of origin

Texas and Central and South America

  • Amaryllis tubispatha L’Hér.
  • Amaryllis andersonii (Herb. ex Lindl.) Griseb.
  • Amaryllis depauperata Poepp.
  • Atamosco tubispatha M.Gómez
  • Atamasco texanus (Herb.) Greene
  • Arviela tubispatha (L’Hér.) Salisb.
  • Habranthus andersonii Herb. ex Lindl.
  • Habranthus andersoni var. texanus Herb.
  • Habranthus parvulus (Herb.) Pritz.
  • Habranthus texanus (Herb.) Herb. ex Steud.
  • Habranthus variabilis (Ravenna) Ravenna
  • Hippeastrum andersonii (Herb. ex Lindl.) Baker
  • Hippeastrum texanum (Herb.) Baker
  • Hippeastrum tubispathum (L’Hér.) Baker
  • Zephyranthes andersonii (Herb. ex Lindl.) Benth. & Hook.f.
  • Zephyranthes commersoniana Herb.
  • Zephyranthes texana Herb.
  • Zephyranthes tubispatha (L’Hér.) Herb.


Common Name

Copper lily, Rain lily

Name in the Camden Park Record

Habranthus Andersonius, Zephyranthes tubispatha  


Confidence level high