November 4, 2006

Peak Nerine sarniensis bloom

A selection of Nerine sarniensis crosses, most from the United Kingdom's National Collection, kept by Ken Hall at Springbank Nursery on the Isle of White. As is still alot of taxonomic uncertainty, please use these representatives loosly, since I have duplicate clones that are, well, different. Regardless, all are still beautiful, and I can't imagine autumn without these relatives of the Amaryllis in bloom.

Here are a selection of named varieties which mostly are from the U.K. and a few unnamed varieties. Known commonly as the Guersey lily, Nerine sarniensis are relatively unknown in the U.S., if one does find Nerine available at a garden center or catalog, most likely it will be the other autumn flowering Nerine, N. bowdenii. N. sarniensis reportedly are known as Guernsey Lilies because of a ledgend about a ship bound from South Africa, sunk off the shore of Guernsey, and hundreds of bulbs washed ashore, where they are now naturalized.

Nerine sarniensis are noted for another strange phenomenon, they sparkle when sunlight refracts or reflects off of them, something Victorian growers in England called Gold (on some red varieties like Wolsey) or silver Dusting. See some of the photos below to see how spectacular this sparkling can be. Also, some varieties have wavy petals, an effect that many breeders try to target while breeding. In my own breeding efforts, just getting seed to take has been enough to ask for! But since I have had some luck getting these normally 'challenging-to-bloom' species to over perform this year, hopefully, I can now start to attempt a bit of a breeding program.

Nerine sarniensis 'Wolsey'

This Nerine sarniensis hybrid is a seedling selection bred by Harry Dalton, and acquired from Ken Hall's National Collection in the U.K.

Nerine sarniensis 'Rushmere Star'
One of the few N. sarniensis hybrids available from a couple of rare bulb dealers in the U.S.

I lost the name tag on this Nerine sarniensis Hyb, but it may be November Cheer. Any ideas?

Nerine sarniensis var. curvifolia f. fothergillii 'Major'

Taxonomy aside, this bulb had the largest flower in my collection. yet the name is questionable. I am simply using the Royal Horticultural Society's name for now, please send me your comments regarding taxonomy and cultivar, this genus is still pretty confusing.

Nerine sarniensis 'Lyndhurst Salmon'

Nerine sarniensis 'Hanley Castle'

Nerine sarniensis 'Cynthia Chance'

Nerine sarniensis ' Berlioz'

Nerine sarniensis 'Blanchefleur'


  1. Anonymous10:05 AM

    Beautiful pictures, thanks. I wonder if I can receive from you some seeds of these hybrids....(leauf@yahoo.com)

  2. Hi, I recently came across your blog when trying to figure out what type of flower was growing in my backyard!

    Now that I know what they are, do you have any information for me on transplanting them into a pot, or another space.

    Any advice would be appreciated.

    Lauren V.


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