Hippeastrum × acramannii
Hippeastrum x acramannii is gererally considered the hardiest of the Hippeastrum hybrids. Its exact parentage is not known for certain but it is often claimed to be a cross between Hippeastrum aulicum and Hippeastrum psittacinum but if this is the case it doesn't appear to have inherited many of the visual characteristics of Hippeastrum psittacinum. Others have sugggested it is a cross between Hippeastum aulicum and Hippeastrum x johnsonii, another hybrid with unverified parentage but genarally thought to be a cross of Hippeastrum reginae and Hippeastrum vittatum. Some confusion also exists about its name and it is sometimes referred to as Hippeastrum x ackermannii. Notwithstanding all this, what is abundantly self-evident is its utter beauty. The flowers, appearing one after the other are of the most stunningly vibrant red on tall elegant stems. The filaments are also red and have just a touch of green at their base and likewise, there is a touch of green at the eye. A slightly darker medial red belies the Hippeastrum aulicum parentage.
Hippeastrum x acramannii is a staggeringly beautiful Hippeastrum. Is it hardy in the UK? Well, yes, for many it is. Probably not so hardy at the bottom of frost pocket in an open field in the Midlands during a particularly severe winter but... with a sensible placing in a sheltered aspect with good drainage and a generous mulch this is a Hippeastrum that will take a decent frost and can certainly be experimented with in milder regions particularly in the south and close to the west coast with its warmer maritime winds. It does prefers a shady spot or at least dappled shade and responds well to a liquid feed. Its growth and flowering cycle can be a little eccentric - I have known it to flower as early as late July or as a late as early October. The flowers are followed by leaf growth and it usually stays evergreen throughout the winter.
A very choice plant.
|Synonyms||Hippeastrum x ackermannii|
|Geographical Origin||Horticultural cultivar|
|Cultivation||Often grown indoors. Perfectly happy in an unheated glasshouse. Adventurous gardeners will want to experiment with planting this outside in a warm, sheltered semi-shady aspect with a well-drained soil|
|Eventual Height||50-70cm including flower spike|
|Eventual Spread||40cm, clumping and forming offsets|
|Hardiness||Cold-tolerant and will take a hard frost. A heavy mulch is sensible. Sheltered aspect. Against a warm wall is a good idea|
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