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.

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