Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) are the tropical South American plants that are so popular at Christmas for their large colourful blooms - and with 200 bulbs on display at Wisley they are providing a big splash of winter cheer.
We have close to 70 different varieties in the trial, and we want to see how well they perform over three flowering seasons.
We also aim to demonstrate how to get the best out of your bulbs because, with a little care, potted Hippeastrum bulbs can reward you with beautiful flowers over many years.
Along with the easily-recognised varieties such as ‘Charisma’ AGM and ‘Green Magic’ AGM (below), there are some stunning Hippeastrum cybister cultivars in the trial, such as ‘Chico’ AGM (right). Their spidery flower heads are striking and dramatic.
'Hippeastrum' is Greek for 'horseman’s star' and the name may refer to the medieval mace-like weapon known as the ‘knight's star’ or ‘morning star’. A commonly-used name for these plants is 'Amaryllis' but this is not really correct because the genus Amaryllis is based on the species Amaryllis belladonna from South Africa. Although the genera Hippeastrum and Amaryllis are both in the family - Amaryllidaceae - they are botanically quite distinct.
Find out more about Butterflies in the Glasshouse
Buy an RHS book on Hippeastrum cultivation
Discover more about plant trials and awards with the RHS