×Amarygia parkeri (W.Watson) H.E.Moore

Hybrids between Amaryllis belladonna (seed parent) and, it is alleged, Brunsvigia josephinae. However, there is doubt whether the pollen parent of this or of ×Amarygia bidwillii was in fact a Brunsvigia. Attempts at reconstruction from the alleged original parents yield sterile hybrids, and it is known that cultivars in this group were derived, in part, by backcrossing the original hybrids with A. belladonna and most of these are fertile. ×Amarygia bidwillii was alleged to have had B. orientalis L. as its pollen parent (which Bidwill called B. multiflora) and hence those hybrids became known as the 'multiflora' hybrids. It now seems probable that the initial cross in both cases was between A. belladonna and Cybistetes longifolia. This is, however, unproven, and while Hannibal (1994) has proposed the intergeneric hybrid name ×Amaristetes, this is not taken up here.

×Amaristetes is the latest addition to a preposterous nomenclatural quagmire associated with these plants, which is based in confusion and argument over the application of Amaryllis (now settled), confusion over the identity of hybrids' parents and most of all absurdly narrow generic limits in this tribe, allowing the artefact intergeneric hybrids, some involving more than two genera.

×Amarygia parkeri hybrids for the most part greatly resemble Amaryllis belladonna, but are generally more vigorous, with larger, radial umbels. The flowers are based on pink, often more intense than that of A. belladonna, and the other parent brings yellow and copper colouring to the throat.

The Australian connection began with J.C. Bidwill who, before taking up his appointment as Director of the Sydney Botanic Gardens in 1847, was conducting hybridisation experiments at William Macarthur's estate at Camden Park and possibly also at Macarthur's brother-in-law's house, Clovelly, at Watson's Bay. Lady Parker (nee Macarthur), wife of the British Sir Henry Parker (Governor of New South Wales in 1856-57) grew seedlings of the hybrids and these were later taken further by Worsley and Sanders' nursery. The Dutch firm van Tubergen also imported ×A. parkeri from Australia and developed the Zwanenburg Group of cultivars. In the 1930s Australian hybrids, as well as those developed in the UK and Netherlands, were imported into the US where further development has taken place, mainly in California. The allegedly different 'multiflora' hybrids - ×Amarygia bidwillii - were first distributed commercially in the 1860s by the NSW nurserymen J. Baptist & Sons, and subsequently developed by a number of Australian breeders, with a range of named cultivars being distributed. The Australian-developed cultivars are mostly lost from circulation under their names, with the exception of Bradley's 'Hathor' with ivory-white ruffled fragrant flowers, sterile or nearly so, and `Alba' a vigorous white-flowered form. The cultivar 'Marjut' with many long-stalked white flowers may be a throw back in the direction of Cybistetes (if that is a parent), or else it is a white form of ×Amarygia 'Tubergenii'.

×Amarygia 'Tubergenii' (Brunsvigia josephinae × Amaryllis belladonna) has an ovoid bulb to about 15 cm wide, offsetting weakly; leaves distichous, grey-green, broadly linear, to c. 5 cm wide; flower stalk solid, to 1 m; umbel about 60 cm wide, many-flowered; flowers shorter than their stalks, with the tube slightly up-curved, pink. This is traded in Australia simply as `Brunsvigia'.

The characteristics of Brunsvigia are quite apparent in this hybrid in which it is the seed parent. The umbel is sub-spherical, the flowers are numerous, the tube is slightly curved, and the flower stalks are distinctly longer than the perianth.

Source: Spencer, R.; Hay, A.; Ashburner, W. (2005). Amaryllidaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 5. Flowering plants. Monocotyledons. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Lilianae
order      Asparagales
family       Amaryllidaceae
genus        ×Amarygia Ciferri & Giacomini