St. Joseph’s Lily

St. Joseph’s Lily, Hardy Amaryllis, Johnson’s Amaryllis, Bouquet Amaryllis

The stunning St. Joseph’s Lily (Hippeastrum x johnsonii) that is so fondly associated with many Southern gardens originated as a chance cross between Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) vittata and A. reginae (both originally from South America). One of the first hybrid Amaryllis, it was perhaps unintentionally crossed by Arthur Johnson, a British watchmaker from Prescott in Lancashire between 1799 and 1810. First described and illustrated in 1816 by Pierre-Joseph Redoute, the plant was originally called Amaryllis brasiliensis and later referred to as Amaryllis johnsonii in 1831. The bulb could have been lost during the early days, but luckily Mr. Johnson shared his new plants with the Liverpool Botanic Garden before his greenhouse was accidently destroyed, along with everything inside. The plant made its way into cultivation in the US by the mid 1800s. And now after almost 200 years and few nursery offerings,

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