Flowers | Flower Facts | Amaryllis
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Name: Pronounced AMMA-rillis, Amaryllis is sometimes called Hippeastrum, which means "knight star".
Description: Amaryllis have large flamboyant starry trumpets which spring from huge papery bulbs. Thick smooth leafless stems, often more than half a metre tall, are topped by four or five of these outsize blooms, making an impressive display.
Origin: South and Central America and the Caribbean
Colour: Pure white, pillarbox red, candy pink, peach. There are also striped varieties and ones with frilled or coloured edges to the petals.
Availability: The main season is September to April.
Varieties: Christmas red varieties include "Liberty", "Red Lion", and "Hercules".
Care Tips: The flowerheads are often so large the stems cannot support them. Insert a thin stick inside the hollow stem for support. Buy Amaryllis when still in bud so you can transport them without damaging the flowers. The meaty stalk of an Amaryllis sucks up a lot of water, which means the flowers have a water supply within the stalk. This means you can use the Amaryllis as a dry decoration for a limited period. A few stems with fully blown flowers can be placed on a dinner table, or hung upside down above the table, without becoming instantly limp.
Zodiac: Associated with the star sign Aries, being flamboyantly red.
Greek Mythology: Amaryllis was a popular woman's name in ancient Greece.
Medicinal: Contains poisonous substances - but perfectly safe to handle.
Language of Flowers: Amaryllis means "splendid beauty" or "pride".