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Flower Facts: Everything You Need to Know About Amaryllis

Flower Facts: Everything You Need to Know About Amaryllis

posted: 2020-10-27 17:00:00 +0800

What slender campanili grew

By bays, the peacock’s neck in hue;

Where, here and there, on sandy beaches

A milky-bell’d amaryllis blew.

- “The Daisy” by Alfred Tennyson


Amaryllis, a trumpet-shaped beauty of a flower is also commonly known as the belladonna lily or the Jersey lily. Amaryllis comes from the Greek word amarysso, which means "to sparkle”, a very fitting and suitable name for this stunning flower. Its name is also derived from a character in Virgil's pastoral Eclogues. Popular by florists and gardeners alike for its sturdiness and long cut flower life, the amaryllis has been captivating flower connoisseurs for hundreds of years.

Scientific Information

Amaryllis is the only genus in the subtribe Amaryllidinae. It’s a very small genus consisting of only two bulb flowering species, the Amaryllis belladonna and Amaryllis paradisicola. Its taxonomy has been slightly controversial as these two species were placed into Amaryllis genus in the 1700s but by the early 19th century the Amaryllis genus had become so hugely diverse, so attempts were made to separate them. The genus of Hippeastrum was then created in which a large portion of species were moved to this genus, with the debate remaining today about the placement of species between these two genera. While the Hippeastrum and Amaryllis have similar shapes, the Hippeastrum species have hollow stems. Today, most amaryllis are hybrids but are still classified in the genus Hippeastrum.

Amaryllis is a bulbous plant that produces a cluster of two to twelve funnel-shaped flowers. The flowers themselves can grow between 6-10cm in diameter and are perennials plants. While many amaryllises will continue to grow every spring for a few years some have been known to bloom for up to 75 years.