Amaryllis sarniensis L.

Family: Amaryllidaceae

Genus: Amaryllis


Published in Sp. Pl. 1: 293 in 1753.

Basionym of Nerine sarniensis (L.) Herb.

Also published in Bot. Mag. 9: 294 in 1795 The Guernsey Lily, as it is moil commonly called, is originally a native of Japan ; where it is described to grow by Kaempfer and Thunberg, who visited that island, the latter says on the hills about Nagasaki, from thence roots are said to have been introduced to the garden of Johannes Morinus at Paris, in which it flowered, October 1634 : its introduction to this country, which was subsequent to that date, as Dr. Douglass relates in his Monographia on this plant, "happened by a very singular melancholy accident, of which Dr. Morison, who no doubt had it from some persons then residing in Guernsey, gives us the following account : A Dutch or English ship, it is uncertain which, coming from Japan, with some of the roots of this flower on board, was cast away on the island of Guernsey ; the roots were thrown upon a sandy shore, and so by the force of the winds and waves, were soon buried in sand ; there they remained for some years, and afterwards, to the great surprise and admiration of the inhabitants, the flowers appeared in all their pomp and beauty." Some of these soon made their appearance in this country: Mr. Aiton relates, that the plant was cultivated here in 1659, by General Lambert, at Wimbledon.

Also published in Pl. Rar. Hort. Schoenbr. 1: 34 t. 66 in 1797.

Sources of Information

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