Hippeastrum papilio, Butterfly Amaryllis, is one of the very best of the species Hippeastrums and is staggeringly beautiful. Its flowers are produced in pairs on short stems - usually in the Spring - and are pale whitish-green striped with maroon with pale green anthers on long elegant filaments. Although it had been known and described from a cultivated specimen it wasn't discovered in the wild until the 1990s when Fred Meyer found it growing epiphytically in forest in the extreme southeast of Brazil.
Hippeastrum papilio is reasonably cold-tolerant and will stand temperatures down to freezing point but not much beyond and must be considered tender in UK conditions. It is best grown indoors or a cool conservatory in the winter until it has flowered then placed outside in a moist warm location in the garden - sheltered and shady. Its pot can be plunged into the soil for the summer and early autumn where it will benefit from the light. Adventurous and experimental exotic gardeners in southwest coastal locations that are both sheltered and frost-free may wish to experiment with Hippeastrum papilio outdoors on a more long-term basis. A well-drained substrate and warm mulching of leaves would be a good idea.
|Geographical Origin||Southern Brazil: Rio Grande do Sul|
|Cultivation||Usually grown indoors in a pot, more adventurous gardeners may want to experiment with planting this out in the summer in a warm but relatively shady spot. Sandy well-drained soil|
|Eventual Height||50-60cm including flower spike|
|Eventual Spread||40cm, cluming and forming new bulbils|
|Hardiness||Tender but cold-tolerant. Indoors is usual. Summer transplanted or plunged into a bed for the adventurous. Seriously-deranged exoticists in more mild regions may want to experiment on a more permanent basis with heavy mulch|
Nice plantOverall the plant is very nice, healthy. The leaves are more firm than I ever saw before from any of the hippeastrum. It arrived in sort of soft plastic pot with drainage holes. It is a young bulb of diameter cca 6 cm, so it might take a while until it blooms.
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