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.

Proiphys cunninghamii (Aiton ex Lindl.) Mabb.

Frost-tender bulb with oval leaves to 25cm and 75cm flower stems bearing umbels of up to 15 white, funnel-shaped flowers in summer.  To 30cm.  [RHSD, Baker Am., Blombery].  

Horticultural & Botanical History

First botanically described as Eurycles cunninghamii by Alan Cunningham in 1832: ‘A native of New Holland, whence its bulbs were sent to Mr. Knight, of the King’s Road Nursery, by Mr. Baxter.  It is a greenhouse plant, flowering in March and April, and increased either by seeds or by offsets.’ [BR f.1506/1832]. Placed in Proiphys by Mabberly in 1980 [Taxon vol.29, p.601/1980].

‘Originally gathered [by Allan Cunningham] in the year 1824, on the banks of the Brisbane River, at Moreton Bay; where it was observed growing in great abundance beneath the shade of the Araucariae of the forests of that almost tropical region, and where, urged by the rains, which fall on that coast in the summer months, it frequently puts forth its flower scape before the leaves appear.’  [BM t.3399/1835]. Introduced to Britain in 1826.  [PD].

History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1845, 1850 and 1857 catalogues [B.111/1845].  Macarthur probably obtained it from his contacts at Moreton Bay.


Published May 26, 2009 - 05:27 PM | Last updated Aug 09, 2012 - 04:50 PM

Figured are the ovoid leaf and umbel of white flowers, yellow at the base.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.1419, 1811.

Proiphys cunninghamii (Aiton ex Lindl.) Mabb. | BM t.3399/1835 as Eurycles cunninghamii | BHL


Family Amaryllidaceae
Region of origin

Eastern Australia, particularly south east Queensland

  • Eurycles cunninghamii Aiton ex Lindl.


Common Name

Brisbane lily

Name in the Camden Park Record

Eurycles Cunninghamiana 


Confidence level high