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empress of Brazil
Worsleya rayneri1CURTIS.jpg
Worsleya illustration
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Amaryllidoideae
Genus: Worsleya
Species: W. procera
Binomial name
Worsleya procera
(Lem.) Traub[1]
  • Amaryllis procera Duch. 1863, nom. illegit. [non A. procera Salisb.]
  • Hippeastrum procerum Lem. 1864 [nom. nov. pro. A. procera Duch. non Salisb.]
  • Amaryllis rayneri Hook.f. 1871
  • Worsleya rayneri (Hook.f.) Traub & Moldenke 1949
The blue flowers

The genus Worsleya contains only one species, Worsleya procera, previously known as Worsleya rayneri.[3][4] It is one of the largest (around 1.5 meters high) and rarest members of the subfamily Amaryllidoideae (family Amaryllidaceae). Worsleya is a tropical plant. This species is also known as the empress of Brazil because of its origin in South America. It grows in very extreme and moist environments, and is commonly found near waterfalls in rich soil situated on granite rocks (which is why it is sometimes considered to be a lithophyte) and sunny places. However, it is very difficult to cultivate. It has plenty of needs, though it can exhibit great hardiness. It also has many ornamental traits.

The plant has a large bulb that produces a high stem with green recurved leaves. Worsleya produces spectacular and beautiful blooms. They are large, lilac to blue, with small freckles on them. The seeds are black and semicircular, and are usually sown in pumice or sometimes Sphagnum, although with Sphagnum the threat of decay is higher.[5][6][7][8][9]


  1. ^ "Worsleya procera", World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, retrieved 2012-12-29 
  2. ^ The Plant List
  3. ^ Mabberley, David (May 3, 2002). "pbs New wiki photos Worsleya bloom". Retrieved 6 February 2011. 
  4. ^ Mabberley, David (1987). The plant-book. A portable dictionary of the higher plants. Cambridge University Press. 
  5. ^ Traub, Hamilton Paul. 1944. Herbertia 10: 89, Worsleya procera
  6. ^ Lemaire, (Antoine) Charles. 1864. L'illustration horticole 11: t. 408. as Hippeastrum procerum .
  7. ^ Duchartre, Pierre Étienne Simon. 1863. Bulletin de la Société Botanique de France 10: 75. as Amaryllis procera nom illeg., not Salisbury 1796.
  8. ^ Traub, Hamilton Paul & Moldenke, Harold Norman. 1949. Amaryllis Manual 23. as Worsleya rayneri
  9. ^ Hooker, Joseph Dalton. 1871. Botanical Magazine 97: t. 5883, as Amaryllis rayneri