Abstract Mechanical damage to scales of Hippeastrum × hybr. bulbs leads to the formation of phytoalexin-like compounds which redden the wounded tissue. The reaction is accompanied by an increase in methyl jasmonate (JA-Me). Applying 2-(4-isobutylphenyl) propionic acid, a jasmonate biosynthesis inhibitor, decreases the level of endogenous jasmonates and decreases the plant's ability to produce the red pigment. Experimental results indicate that jasmonates are involved in the defense response to wounding in Hippeastrum, which is manifested in the formation of red pigment, a compound of chalcones and flavans with phytoalexin-like properties.