Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Butterfly Amaryllis
Hippeastrum papilio

Family: Amaryllidaceae (am-uh-ril-id-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Hippeastrum (hip-ee-ASS-trum) (Info)
Species: papilio (pap-ILL-ee-oh) (Info)
Additional cultivar information: (aka Papillio)

Synonym:Amaryllis papilio

4 vendors have this plant for sale.

65 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

6-9 in. (15-22 cm)
9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
Scarlet (Dark Red)

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Flowers are fragrant
This plant is suitable for growing indoors
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
This plant is resistant to deer
Flowers are good for cutting

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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There are a total of 29 photos.
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6 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive depuy On Feb 14, 2013, depuy from Eureka, CA wrote:

I have had this for years. In Northern Ca. I have been growing it in the greenhouse and on a covered patio. A few months ago I put some in the ground and mulched then with fine fir bark. They are doing fine. The temperature dropped to 28 in mid January and there was not the slightest hint of leaf damage. One is sending up a flower spike. The only problem I have had with it is with snails and slugs. I was told they are epiphytic, but they probably need some detritus to root in. I may give it a try when my redwoods get a little bigger. A friend grew some in her greenhouse that were huge, a very nice strain.

Positive the_naturalist On Nov 15, 2010, the_naturalist from Monrovia, CA wrote:

I have this multiplying profusely in full shade in my Southern California yard.

Positive Buttoneer On Mar 2, 2010, Buttoneer from Carlisle, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

I have had this plant before, many years ago and lost it, so I finally got it back again and it is everything, if not more, than the description. It bloomed 4 flowers, the first two were crossed with a white amaryllis and the last two were self-pollenated. I stuck a couple of Jobe's plant spikes in the pot and it bloomed. It is greenhouse-grown with a minimum temp of 55 degrees in winter.

Neutral dfusting On Jan 27, 2010, dfusting from Saint Thomas, PA wrote:

I m new at this what shoul I do with the bulb after it blooms? Leave in in the pot and put in garage or basement? When do I bring it out again. Thank You

Positive dwarbucks On Jun 12, 2009, dwarbucks from San Francisco, CA wrote:

I was discouraged by what I felt was a small bulb when I got it 3 years ago. It bloomed that first year and each succeeding year. It is in bloom now (June 2009). The bulb has tripled in size and has two new offsets growing this year. The flowers have a more greenish cast than most photos show. Nice plant!

Positive haweha On Mar 19, 2008, haweha from Solingen
Germany (Zone 7a) wrote:

The particular clone of that species knight star lily which is commercialized in The Netherlands and Germany, respectively produces flowers with particularly broad segments and - is self sterile. However, I received seeds and progeny thereof, by crossing - in both directions that is, using H.papilio as mother plant and as pollen donor - with "Pink Floyd", H.aulicum v.robustum and H.cybister "Chico". These are all DIPS like H.papilio itself. If it is dusted with pollen from TETs then it produces a nice, well-stuffed seed pod as well, but the bulk of seeds will be chaff. However, perform a careful inspection of the fresh seeds and discover the few specimens with a plump, viable embryo (if you are lucky and there are some at all) ;) Those are precious.

Positive nancyanne On Mar 15, 2007, nancyanne from Lafayette, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

This plant is a natural species, not a hybrid. It *will* self-pollinate, and it *will* set viable seed.
A very arresting flower - unusual color and markings, and exceptionally tall inflorescences.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Anniston, Alabama
Gadsden, Alabama
Antioch, California
Eureka, California
Garberville, California
Glendale, California
Los Angeles, California
Monrovia, California
Oakland, California
San Francisco, California
San Jose, California
Sebastopol, California
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Fort Myers, Florida
Miami, Florida
Niceville, Florida
Rockledge, Florida
Saint Petersburg, Florida
Umatilla, Florida
Broxton, Georgia
Griffin, Georgia
Hahira, Georgia
Mililani, Hawaii
Cut Off, Louisiana
Haughton, Louisiana
Lafayette, Louisiana
Metairie, Louisiana
Flowood, Mississippi
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Winston Salem, North Carolina
Carlisle, Pennsylvania
Ladson, South Carolina
Aransas Pass, Texas
Brownsville, Texas
College Station, Texas
Houston, Texas
La Vernia, Texas
Missouri City, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Spring, Texas
Sugar Land, Texas
Winnsboro, Texas

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