Saturday, June 09, 2007

'Tis not the Season

It's not the time we usually associate Amaryllis with but the ones we stored and planted this spring are blooming away right now. Actually these are Hippeastrum which are indigenous to South America.

The taxonomy of the Amaryllis is a confused one. "Linnaeus's concept of Amaryllis was in fact a mixed one, including the American plants we now know as Hippeastrum as well as the familiar South African bella-donna lily. Earlier this century a battle raged among botanists and bulb enthusiasts over which of these plants the name should be restricted to, and the bella-donna faction seems to have won. As now recognized the genus consists of a single species, occurring wild only in southwestern Cape Province."*

Even if the taxonomists call it Hippeastrum, Amaryllis has stuck with the public and nurseries who propagate and sell these bulbs.

I will add the names of the individual plants at a later time when/if I find my order form.

*botanica, 2004 Random House Australia.


Blogger DeeMom said...

How neat. The Amaryllis that we got this Christmas are now going through their dying out process. That is the leaves are left and the bulb is absorbing the nutrients that is needed, their foliage to replenish their strength so they can bloom again. I am told once the leaves have died back I should then store them until @ Thanksgiving sometime. Bring them out and water them for the coming Holiday.

I found this site useful:

8:13 AM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi deemom,
We bought these "Amaryllis" back in the early fall of 2005. They bloomed that year and into 2006. When the leaves died we dried the bulbs, stored them in our garage during the winter. We did this cycle two more times and have set them out for spring again. This has been by far the best year for the Amaryllis in terms of flower size and number of blooms.

I like the more natural cycle of having these as spring flowers rather than forcing them for the traditional Christmas holiday, even if it is very nice to have some color and anything blooming in the cold, dark months.

Thanks for the link but I did not find the article on Amaryllis culture.

6:30 PM  
Blogger Digital Flower Pictures said...

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet" or something like that. The nomenclature of plants was something I always thought was fairly straight forward but since I have been blogging I have found it is far from clear.

3:31 AM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Chris,
Like everything else, it seems to be at the whim of those who have the most power. Blogging has been an education.

4:37 AM  
Blogger Gotta Garden said...

Oh, I think these are just wonderful! They like you!

I've put most of mine outside where they love it and grow glorious leaves...somehow, they rise above that horrible red blotch stuff. Do you get that? I read on a forum that it is everywhere now as the bulbs coming from The Netherlands (where, I guess, most come) are almost totally infected with it. I haven't done a thing, but I'm thinking I might try something this year...I actually have one that hasn't shown it...yet...and I'm worried it will get it from the others.

Oh well, enough of that. They are fabulous...and when they bloom, you just have to stop and look!

8:10 AM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Gotta,
What's the red blotch? Thanks for the warning though. We bought a lot of the bulbs from John Sheepers,Inc. and they seem to be ok. Actually two years ago we happened to be in WalMart and saw some boxed Amaryllis bulbs for sale. As we wandered around we saw some loose ones for an incredible $1.00 each. Such a deal. So we bought a lot thinking to force them and give as Christmas gifts. Well, some of the bulbs turned out to be even better than the Sheepers' ones! The bulbs were smaller but the colors were nicer.

That's what we found out too. Let them have some sun outdoors and the bulbs get bigger and are way more vigorous than store bought.

Thanks for the comment.

9:23 AM  

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