Amaryllis the red?

Amaryllis Lemon Lime?
Amaryllis Lemon Lime?

I recently order this bulb online along with a few other Amaryllis. It is already in  bloom with four flowers and a another stalk not far behind!  However, its got unusual red markings and overlay on a rather pale background than I’ve ever seen in Lemon Lime which is usually a nice smooth color with almost no red pigment, if any. (See a photo of the true Lemon Lime.)

I contacted the source, Willow Creek Gardens who responded quickly  said they were seeing the same thing in the Lemon Limes they had bloomed out!  They were getting in touch with their grower to figure what was going on.  In the meantime, they offered to send me another Amaryllis as a replacement , which is what I expect a quality retailer to do. I selected ‘Beneficia’ which is on the opposite side of the color spectrum, a deep rich burgundy red.

Willow Creek Gardens also wrote:

” you  might want to include in your blog the sad fact that the number of amaryllis growers worldwide has shrunk – one of the biggest declared bankruptcy last year and this is the first year we’ve seen the effects on the market — prices have risen.  This  follows a  year when  all vendors were receiving unprecedented numbers of mis-labeled amaryllis bulbs from  the growers and brokers they  had dealt with for years.  In some cases, it even seems that some highly prized hybrids were just shipped under some ordinary varieties name.”

Likely, the global economic recession has had much to do with this, but possibly there is also  some shake-out also going on in the industry. When it all settles down, lets hope the top quality growers and suppliers float to the top.  Dedicated breeders spend much time with a toothpick, painstakingly creating new hybrids. Then, selecting and multiplying amaryllis for commercial release is a time consuming process that can take almost a decade, in some cases. Growers, brokers and retailers have a responsibility to maintain high standards so that consumers, without whom there would be no amaryllis industry, are satisfied with the bulbs they receive, and of course, the flower quality.

Back to the Lemon Lime, the question remains whether this is a) another hybrid b) some sort of sport of  lemon lime, or the result of c) unusual temperatures or other growing factors that affected  the plant at the cellular level when flowering was first initiated? If you have any ideas, please let me know by leaving a comment below.

One Reply to “Amaryllis the red?”

  1. Could it be that the Lemon Lime you received might be a seedling and as such it is showing its genetic diversity? …or are amaryllis now mericloned? ….in which case the industry is seeing an increase in abnormalities due to that process. Which ever the source, it is pretty! Flower abnormalities, specifically pyloric flowers, in Moth Orchids are frequently ‘epigenetic’ in origin and the plants can revert to a normal bloom on the next cycle. I wonder what it will do next year?

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