What is the difference between hippeastrum and amaryllis

Amaryllis and hippeastrum are plants that belong to the Amaryllis family and are very similar to each other in appearance and growing characteristics. To understand the differences between these two similar plants, consider a detailed description of these flowers.

History of the appearance of flowers

Despite the outward similarity of the two plants, amaryllis is from South Africa, and hippeastrum is from South America. In 1693, hippeastrum was brought to Europe, where amaryllis was already common at that time.

In 1753, Karl Linney, finding the hippeastrum very similar to amaryllis, decided to attribute it to the Amaryllis family.

Multiple attempts to cross these two plants together did not give a positive result, although the varieties of each of the genera gave new amazing varieties.

In 1821, the English florist and scientist William Herbert proposed a new classification, according to which he separately distinguished the genus Amaryllis, to which only 1 species belonged, and the genus Hippeastrum, with all other American species.

Did you know? You can make the hippeastrum bloom by a certain date. For this, its bulb must be immersed for 3 hours in warm (+40 - 43 ° C) water, then planted and wait for flowering in 20 - 25 days.

Plant description

In order to distinguish plants of both genera from each other, it is necessary to consider the botanical description of each of them.


Only 1 species belongs to this genus - amaryllis belladonna, or beautiful. It is an onion plant, the bulb of which reaches a size of 5 to 10 cm in diameter. The plant has bright green leaves from 30 to 50 cm in length and 2-5 cm in width, which are arranged in 2 rows.

Depending on the climate, leaves on the plant can grow in autumn or spring. A leafless peduncle develops in the center of the flower, from 30 to 60 cm in height, on which 2-12 funnel-shaped flowers are formed. The common color of the buds is white or pink, but there are also specimens with red or purple shades. The buds are 6-10 cm in diameter and consist of 6 petals. Flowering occurs twice a year when grown in open ground and once a year - at room content.

Did you know? During the development of amaryllis leaves, the flower does not appear yet, and when the buds grow, the leaves are already dying.


In the genus of hippeastrum, there are 90 species and more than 200 varieties. It belongs to bulbous plants, reaching a height of 80 cm to 1 m. The leaves grow very interesting: 3 leaf plates appear at the base of the flower, and the fourth is a substrate for inflorescences. 2-6 inflorescences appear on the stem, which are funnel-shaped and consist of 6 petals. Depending on the variety, the size and shape of the petals may vary. The color of the buds can be very different, there are more than 2000 shades and colors of different varieties. Hippeastrum can bloom 4 times a year, at least 2 times. The plant blooms most abundantly in late winter and spring.

Differences between amaryllis and hippeastrum

If you know the main differences between the plants of these two genera, you can easily distinguish them from each other.

Flower smell

Amaryllis flower has a pleasant delicate aroma, unlike hippeastrum, which is completely odorless.

Petals and inflorescences

On one stalk of amaryllis, up to 12 medium-sized buds can appear, on the hippeastrum - no more than 6, but large, however, varieties that can contain up to 15 buds are currently bred.

Hippeastrum petals can be of different lengths and shapes, while amaryllis petals are standard. The color scheme of amaryllis is rather scarce (white, pink), the hippeastrum has more than 2 thousand shades.


In amaryllis, the onion skin has a smooth structure, its shape is pear-shaped. In hippeastrum, the bulb is covered with small scales, the shape is round, with slightly elongated ends.

Hippeastrum bulb Amaryllis can form daughter bulbs, and if you tear one plate from the bulb, you can notice a spider web, hippeastrum does not have this feature.

Amaryllis Bulb


Amaryllis leaves all grow at the base, forming several pairs, and fall until flowering. In hippeastrum, the number of leaves at the base is unpaired (3 pcs.), And one leaf is located on the peduncle. The leaves on this plant remain throughout the growth period.

Flowering time

Amaryllis blooms 1-2 times a year and occurs in spring-summer, but flowering of hippeastrum occurs in winter and spring and can reach 4 times.

Important! Plants can bloom repeatedly only if the basic recommendations for caring for them are observed and the necessary microclimate indicators are maintained in the room (soft, diffused light, moderate moisture, comfortable temperature).

Useful care tips

Plants of both genera are not only similar in appearance, but their care is almost the same, so we will consider the main nuances:

  1. They contain flowers in a room with a temperature not lower than +16 and not higher than +25 ° C.
  2. The pot is placed on southeast or southwest windows.
  3. The flower has a tendency to lean to the side with the brightest lighting, so that it grows evenly, it is recommended to periodically turn it in different directions.
  4. When the plant releases the peduncle, watering is stopped and resumed only when the arrow of the peduncle reaches a size of 10 cm.
  5. The soil at the roots should be constantly moistened, watering the flower is necessary when the topsoil is slightly dry.
  6. It is not recommended to water directly under the root so that the bulb does not rot, it is better to water the soil closer to the sides of the pot.
  7. The water used for irrigation should be at room temperature and previously settled.
  8. The flower needs regular feeding, which is made in the spring. You need to feed 2 times, with a frequency of 10 days, with special fertilizer for deciduous plants.
  9. A flower should be transplanted every year, for transplanting it is better to use a soil mixture based on peat, sod land, river sand and humus (in equal proportions).
Important! Since amaryllis is prone to drop leaves, after it fades, it is necessary to move the pot to a dark place with a low temperature (no more than + 10 ° С). Thus, amaryllis and hippeastrum are different plants and even belong to different genera, although they are very similar in appearance. Caring for these flowers is simple, and in order to make it easier to grow them at home, you must adhere to the main recommendations.


Several differences between hippeastrum and amaryllis. If the peduncle is hollow, then this is hippeastrum. If the peduncle is not hollow, then this is amaryllis. Children in hippeastrum and amaryllis form in different ways. In hippeastrum, children usually appear near drying scales on the outside of the bulb. In amaryllis bulbs, children appear between the flakes inside the bulb, so the amaryllis bulb has several growth points. The flowering period in hippeastrum falls at the end of autumn, winter and spring, in amaryllis - in autumn. Hippeastrum, when grown indoors, grows and blooms beautifully. Amaryllis in an apartment is more difficult to grow and bloom, because during the period of active growth after flowering in the conditions of our apartments in winter and spring, amaryllis is clearly not enough light. Svyatoslav //frauflora.ru/viewtopic.php?p=77507#p77507

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