There are about 70-90 species and hundreds of cultivars in this genus. They are large brilliantly colored flowering bulbs. They are native to tropical regions of the Caribbean, Mexico but mostly South America. There are two centers of diversity, one in eastern Brazil (origin of the genus) and the other in the central Andes along the Peru and Bolivia border.
At one point it was part of the genus Amaryllis and that has stuck as the common name for them.
Hippeastrum species are generally evergreen or winter-dormant, and many bloom with the leaves present. Flower colors vary from white to greenish yellow to reds and oranges.
Name Derivation: From the Greek hippeus (knight) and astron (star)
Common Name: Amaryllis
Hippeastrum is in the family Amaryllidaceae.