Emaryllis.com, your online Hippeastrum (amaryllis) headquarters!

That’s the amaryllis I bought? So you bought an amaryllis and it bloomed…that’s terrific! But wait you say, it doesn’t look like the picture on the label or catalog, or box kit, or…you get it…welcome to our world. Every season a substantial portion of amaryllis bulbs sold are incorrectly labeled. This might not be such a big deal if not for the fact that these are relatively expensive bulbs, which rightly raises the expectations for quality and labeling correctness.

The intent of this site is to photograph those Hippeastrum hybrids commercially available in the U.S. marketplace. Maybe now you can put a name on that mystery bulb!

The 2016-2017 season rolls on!


One of the deepest and darkest reds yet, ‘Queen of the Night’ seems to live up to its Dutch grower’s “donker rood” (dark red) description and then some! Now in the library.



It worked! Putting some unopened scapes of ‘GoldenDaylight’ into a vase allowed enough of a show to enter this very delicate amaryllis into the gallery.



Velvety, deep and detailed like fine fabric, Hadeco ‘symphony’ selection ‘Karoo’ has found a home in the Emaryllis library!



Beguiling ‘Amore’ is now in the photo library.



The boldly patterned ‘Mozaique’ is now in the gallery!



‘Mystica’ (left), here posed next to ‘Jungle Star’ is now entered into the photo gallery.



Elegant and new, ‘Princesse Claire’ is now in the photo library. Enjoy!



Confirmed! A recently recieved comment suggests that at least a Florida supplier of ‘Ruby Gem’ actually ended up with another (much older) Hadeco cultivar, ‘Gold Medal’ as seen here.



A tale of two Chipolatas! What a diference exposure can make, ‘Chipolata’ in its more familiar pastel form (left), and flowered under bright light (right). Now in the gallery!



Cutflower cousins ‘Mocca’ (left) and ‘Fledermaus’ (right) grace the photo library at last!



Hadeco’s ‘Ruby Gem’ is in the library, from a flowering bulb purchased last season. This year’s offering appears to be mislabeled, and may be ‘Gold Medal’. More on this in later posts!



Sweet! ‘Terra Mystica’ is now in the gallery.



The ‘Amputo’ situation just gets crazier! While the first few bloomers turned out to be ‘Santiago’ (see below) the next to blooms from the same purchase are opening as ‘Double Dragon’, a baffling substitution if ever there was one!



An early season posting on this page extolled the availability of some Saad-Assaf varieties as dry bulbs at local nurseries. That elation had ended in deflation. In addition to the incorrect ID on the ‘Cutting Edge’ kit below, we now have 2 strikes against ‘Pink Pizzazz’. Not only is it another cultivar (‘Pink Flush’) but it too is in very poor health. The stunting and corky red lines tell us that bulb scale mites seem to be a major problem this year. Put plainly, this bulb has no pizzazz whatsoever!



Sneak Peak: It looks like a second scape may be a few weeks away. This first scape only made two buds, but we can see that it is a true example of ‘Striped Amadeus’.



As noted below, the suspiciously large bulbs purchased as ‘Amputo’ have proved not to be true-to-type. Rosy purple began showing up on the exterior of the buds last week. Now open, it is clear that ‘Santiago’ was the rather unsimilar substitution. It’s a beauty, but not what the amaryllis doctor ordered! At least it can manage some fragrance, a trait that ‘Amputo’ would probably have even more of. I will keep growing my older bulbs in hopes of adding true ‘Amputo’ photos and  a description to the library in the future.



No surprises here. Sold as ‘United Nations’, an older and out-of-production white and red bicolor. ‘Popov’ is what bloomed, and a fine and sturdy example of its class it is.



A provisional review of ‘Magical Touch’ is now in the library. It’s tough to judge this one without fully rooted bulbs under optimal conditions, but suffice it to say, the story here is in the amazingly intense overall coloration. This new variety seems specifically bred for pot culture due to its shorter than average scapes.



Sorry to report this on Boxing Day, but we have some bad news. One of the three brands of box kits purchased this year is a total dud. Not only is it not the correct variety, it doesn’t seem to be any one of Saad-Assaf’s own cultivars. Worst of all, it has an outrageosly bad infestation of bulb scale mites which are causing massive scarring, stippling, and distortion of the scape and flowers. This kit is not ‘Cutting Edge’ in any sense of the expression! Expect a full report in coming weeks on the blog.



Taking a leap of faith, Emaryllis has posted ‘Butterball’ to the library. Hadeco’s main website still lists only ‘Buttercup’ as their sole yellow Sonatini. But they do offer ‘Buttercup’ in their home market with a distinct photo that is accurate to what we have here. A lovely addition to a growing group of yellow hippeastrum hybrids. The biggest problem was performance. Of three bulbs purchased, one may be nearly dead, one is quite weak; luckily the other managed to produce three healthy scapes. It would seem that on good roots, this new introduction is no turkey!



not Scarlet Baby

A major about face! The below noted purchase of a bagged and tagged ‘Scarlet Baby’ has bloomed, and could not be any more different from a red, single miniature. Here we have the double white clone ‘Marilyn’ that had Emaryllis perplexed and exasperated…to the point of laughter. What a brazen effort to pry money from someone hoping to see the heirloom beauty that is ‘Scarlet Baby’! The good: with eight chunky buds, this will be a far better example of ‘Marilyn’ to put into the library in the near future. Still, I think we have our reigning queen of mislabels for the season!



It seems the offering of ‘Sweet Potato Pie’ has bloomed true to the promotional photos. This means it also matches the photos supporting the offering of ‘Terra Mystica’, which will be the more likely final name when this perky little guy is registered. When a bulb bought as ‘Terra Mystica’ blooms, it will be considerd verified, and a new entry will show up in our library!



Marketed by Living Gardens as ‘Cherry Blossom’, it was no surprise that this turned out to be ‘Apple Blossom’ as the online catalog photo would have one believe. So why isn’t Emaryllis running back for a refund? Dutch wholesaler Floralia lists ‘Cherry Blossom’, which indicates a problem not of the retailers’ making.



Tagged as ‘Charmeur’, but the result is ‘Desire’. It seems pretty clear that wholesalers still use ‘Charmeur’ tags to sell bulbs, though it is likely a few years out of production.



At last, the elusive and alluring Hadeco hybrid ‘Thai Thai’ enters our gallery. Emaryllis is smitten with the uniquely dramatic opening sequence from bud to “balloon” to ruffled splendor!



Emaryllis has been growing (but never blooming!) ‘Amputo’ for years. Never quite ready to raise the white flag, purchases continue to be made in high hopes of posting this enigmatic cultivar. Usually bulbs acquired are notably small and rootless. This year’s shipment of ‘Amputo’ from a West Coast supplier has yielded large, rounded and well rooted bulbs. Hmmm, so why is Emaryllis not too excited? It will be quite the surprise if they are truly ‘Amputo’. But what would they be then? Stay tuned for future posts!


doubtful Scarlet Baby

It’s always tempting. ‘Scarlet Baby’ hasn’t been sold in the USA for years, yet the name and stock images are found once again on packaging in 2016. Recently, ‘Rapido’ has been the substitute of choice, but expect Emaryllis to report back soon with what suppliers are actually putting in the bag!


Cutting Edge Kit

A Saad-Assaf cultivar that was almost imported in 2014 may be making its way to our domestic market via these fancy kits. This high end kit features a heavy ceramic cachepot and a heavy price tag to go with it. But will it really yield the elusive variety ‘Cutting Edge’ pictured when it blooms? Emaryllis will post as soon as it is known either way!



It happens every year. Emaryllis thinks that box kits are going passé, but those crafty marketers aren’t giving in. This season brings these beautiful kits from Van Bloem featuring a stylish hexagonal shape and artisticly rendered graphics. The pricing at retailers varies wildly on these, but the bulbs inside look good. So, yes Virginia, there will be box kit bonanza-ing once again this season!



Double trouble! At a local retailer the first boxes of bulbs are being put out, and to my amazement, the newest of the Amadeus clan is being sold. Not! The box shows us the new ‘Striped Amadeus’,  yet the individual bulbs in the box are all labeled as the similar ‘Blossom Peacock’. For the Dutch wholesalers that may be close enough, but for those of us in the know, not so much. We shall see how our mail order ‘Striped Amadeus’ turns out later in the season. Update for November: I have seen same brand boxes filled with bulbs labeled as ‘Striped Amadeus’, so they do exist!



Welcome news! 2016 marks the first year that “plain” dry bulbs of Saad-Assaf varieties are being offered in the U.S. Van Bloem Gardens is the wholesaler bringing them to retail venues sans box kits this season. In addition to ‘Pink Pizzazz’, other cultivars were seen, including ‘Love Triangle’, and ‘Opal Star’.


Amaryllis Sweet Potato Pie bulb

They have arrived, and it seems almost certain that ‘Sweet Potato Pie’ will be identical to what is offered by several other suppliers as ‘Terra Mystica’. Time will tell, and findings will be reported ASAP. The bulbs have arrived with an honest labeling of 24/26mm claim size, so at least the fear of unusually small bulbs is quelled. Since they are a mid-size variety, this is not bad.



An apparent relation to van Geest’s ‘Terra Cotta Star’, and one of  few new varieties to look forward to for 2016. The lack of bulb claim size and steep pricing of the “exclusive” offering is a little less exciting, but you know that Emaryllis will make the investment!



For inquiries: write to Info (at) emaryllis.com


20 comments on “Home
  1. Brenda says:

    Is the Flag Amaryllis and the Star Amaryllis the same plant?

  2. Rosie says:

    I was given three bulbs last summer, two from my great Gram-in-law after she passed and one from my sister. I have no real idea what cultivars they are, since I did not see them in bloom. I kept them in my southern facing picture window all this time. They went dormant during the fall and winter months. In January they came out of dormancy (or so I thought). Leaves began growing so I began watering them again. One bulb continued to grow, put up a scape, and bloomed beautifully. The other two seems to have stalled, one has a leaf tip about 2 inches tall and the other has 6 12in long leaves. They have not showed any more growth for about a month. Both bulbs are round, fat and green, and have grown some roots. Have you ever had a bulb start growing and then just stop? They seem so healthy I am confounded.

    • emaryllis says:

      Rosie, I have seen amaryllis stall for no apparent reason fairly often. Once the daylight hours exceed 12 hours a day, they should all come into growth. Just remember that the stalled bulbs need minimal watering, and no fertilizer until actively growing. It’s so nice to hear that you are taking care of these “passalong” amaryllis bulbs 🙂

      • Rosie says:

        That is good to know that once the long summer days come they will get going. I have been reading your site since I got them and did searches to learn how to care for them. This is definitely one of the most fun and informative sites for Amaryllis/Hippeastrum. 🙂 I’ve spent hours looking through the blog posts and photo library! After my first blossomed I tried to identify it, but being one of the solid Reds makes it kind of impossible to my inexperienced eyes. It did have a fragrance though! I am being very careful with the watering. I have to be because the tiny one (is lucky to be alive) is in a small square glass vase with coconut coir. I have no idea who would of sold/gift it to my sister like that. I don’t have any other pots to put it in yet, but I will. I would be surprised to see it bloom, its smaller(17.5cm) and was in poor light quite a long time before I got it. Oh, I am well and truely hook line and sinker for them now. I’ve adopted two box kits from a local store over two weeks ago. Both have roots and one appears to have two scapes peeking. 😀 And I want even more.

        • Rosie says:

          Well, I found out what was wrong with them today. I got a clay pot with drainage for the small one and new soil for them both. When I took it out the littlest one’s basal plate was rotting out all around the middle. There were even fungal spores! 🙁 I pulled and scraped out all the spongy material I could, removed bad roots, and used a child’s toothbrush to clean the whole bottom really good. I let it dry in a window for a while. I dusted the bottom with cinnamon before potting it. I did Not water it as the soil was slightly moist already. It does still have several live roots.

          The bigger one wasn’t as badly rotted, but it was starting to. There was a wad of rotten material in the bottom of the pot and I guess as soon as the roots tried growing through it, they started dying and stopped growing. Same deal, I cleaned it as best I could, let it dry, and dusted with cinnamon before potting it up with new soil. I hope and pray they will be all right.

          • emaryllis says:

            It sounds like you have done the right things, and they should grow much better in new soil. They are pretty tough!

  3. Adelaida M. Balaag says:

    How can i buy your amaryllis? How much?

    • emaryllis says:

      Ahh, sorry Adelaida, Emaryllis is just here for informational purposes. Some of the varieties I have photographed over the years are commercially extinct. A few cultivars are only available for 1-2 seasons, while others like ‘Apple Blossom’ have been easy to purchase for many decades. The best selection is by way of mail order companies…which ones depends on where you live. Thanks for your interest!

  4. Barbara Sharf says:

    My Ruby Gem from ABC also turned out to be Gold Metal.

  5. Tienito says:

    Emaryllis, this is such a wonderful website. Fun & informative for those wanting information on specific cultivars. It’s helping me chart the waters. Good work amd well done!

  6. Brenda says:

    Lovely collection, I have a few I don’t know the names of, how can I send a photograph for you to tell me the names

  7. Medi siagian says:

    Hi.. I want to buy your amaryllis special double , please help me to buy your collection

    • emaryllis says:

      Thanks for enjoying this so much that you want to purchase. Emaryllis.com is here for information purposes only, sorry that none of our amaryllis varieties are for sale. Probably Royal Colors in the Netherlands is your best bet, as they ship internationally.

  8. Thank you for the helpful comments

  9. I raised amaryllis bulbs indoors for the first time this year and chose H.’Terra Cotta Star’. They are indeed gorgeous but the stems are weak. I have two bulbs. In both cases once the inflorescence emerged fully the stems toppled over at the junction with the bulb. If the breeder is out out there, could you work on that for the future please?
    Thank you.

    (author of “Visions of Loveliness:great flower breeders of the past”)

    • emaryllis says:

      Greetings Ms. Taylor. Yes, the fact that many of these are naturally tall sees them perfectly suited to the cut-flower market, but less so to the lower light of the average home interior. There are more compact varieties that bloom on shorter, sturdier scapes. Hadeco of South Africa in particular focus on this trait. Dutch hybrids such as ‘Mambo’ and ‘Floris Hekker’ were selected specifically for pot culture as well. The “cybister” hybrids, owing to the lightness of their blooms offer a way to have the elegance of great height with less likelihood of toppling. Thank you for your comment!

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