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25.2.12

Amaryllis cybister 'Chico'

I was gifted a bulb labeled as Amaryllis cybister ‘Chico’ this year. As I’ve mentioned before, amaryllis, the name I prefer, is technically incorrect. The proper name for an amaryllis bulb is Hippeastrum. So, the proper name of Amaryllis cybister ‘Chico’ is H. cybister ‘Chico.’ There is some debate online about whether or not H. cybister ‘Chico’ is a hybrid produced by the late Fred Meyer, or just a selected clone of the species H. cybister. Honestly, after reading various websites, forums and blogs-I have no idea.  Each source sways me in a different direction. What I do know is that it is the tiniest and most exotic of all the Hippeastrums I’ve ever grown myself.  I can understand why it is sometimes called a “Spider Amaryllis.”

Amaryllis Cybister 'Chico'flowering



The flower pedals of ‘Chico’ are thin, red and accented with a green throat. Giving this Hippeastrum a very orchid-like appearance. Certainly a lot smaller than my Amaryllis ‘Charisma’ bulb. The bulb itself was not much larger than your standard light bulb. When the scape (flower stem) emerged it colored up a nice oxblood red color as it was exposed to sunlight.

Amaryllis cybister 'Chico'






































An overhead view of the scape and blooms. Some bulbs may have more than one scape and each space may have 4-5 blooms growing on it. I kind of prefer the 4 blooms as I find that 5 per scape make it look a little “messy.”

Amaryllis Cybister 'Chico' Flower







































A closer look at the top of the trumpet-shaped flower of H. cybister 'Chico' and the deep red coloring I mentioned that develops in intense light.

How to Pollinate an Amaryllis


While searching for a definitive answer on amaryllis cybister ‘Chico’ being a hybrid; I noticed a lot of amaryllis growers had questions about how to pollinate an amaryllis. And whether H.cybister 'Chico' was self-fertilize and could self-pollinate. Yes, it is self-fertile. At least from my experience growing it this year. All four of my blooms are currently swollen and producing seeds.

The other thing I learned is that the term “cybister amaryllis” or “amaryllis cybister” are trade terms. Cybisters, as a group of plants, are a separate species from their more common amaryllis cousin but, they too, originate in South America. The diminutive size of H. cybister ‘Chico’ makes is a perfect plant for a windowsill in my experience. Unlike its unruly cousins a single bulb doesn’t need a large pot and there’s not a wild mane of foliage that has to be contain either.

If you have any recommendations for cybister to grow I'm all ears.

17 comments:

  1. Beautiful plant! If you like this one, have you ever tried Sprekelia formosissima? The flower reminds me of this one, only a bright happy red. I've heard they're close enough relatives that they can sometimes cross with Hippeastrum. I always want to try but I can never get them to bloom at the same time :(

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    1. I haven't grown that one and now that you mention it I think I'm going to have to. Also, experiment more with saving pollen for crosses.

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  2. Wow! That's a gorgeous flower "cluster". Thanks for sharing that one.

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    1. Hi Web, I'm glad you liked it.

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  3. Love this one. Amazing diversity in this plant group.

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    1. Right? I'm going to have to grow more of them.

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  4. So pretty! This one and the Lemon Lime one you blogged about a while back are probably my favorites. Once I stop killing amaryllis, I'll have to get one. :-)

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    1. You know that Lemon Lime wasn't too much taller than this one. I should try to cross them and see what happens. I noticed you stopped tweeting about your amaryllis and now I'm wondering, "what happened to it?"

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  5. Nice! I like the spidery form.

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    1. From a distance I don't like the spidery form. But up close I find it rather spectacular.

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  6. Anonymous10:43 PM

    You may like "Evergreen", "Emerald" both H.cybister clones

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    1. Thanks for the tip. I'll have to look into those.

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  7. Nice to find another blog new to me. Chicago seems so close since so many of my neighbors live there and here along the shores of Lake Michigan. Even with all the snow this weekend it is beautiful thought it will be weeks before I see any signs of Spring here. HOpe to see you soon. Jack

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    1. Hi Jack,

      Nice to meet another garden. Since you're not too far maybe we'll bump into each other in person one day.

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  8. I have a pot of hippeastrum but they have not bloom the whole of last year

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    1. Have you tried fertilizing them? It takes a lot of energy for the bulb to bloom and they're pretty heavy feeders.

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  9. I'm not sure I like the look of it - or doubles, now that I think about it. The petals are just so unusual. I'm addicted to pollinating hippeastrums so I'm sure it's only a matter of time before I get the others just out of curiosity to see what the offspring would look like if cross-pollination was successful. This year I purchased Green Dragon amaryllis in honor of the year of the dragon, as well as Candy Floss amaryllis (which sadly didn't turn out to be Candy Floss when it bloomed). I stored the Green Dragon pollen since it bloomed first and then used it on the fake Candy Floss. My fingers are crossed that the pods will swell and reward me with seeds to grow!

    Say, did you pollinate this plant?

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