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Amaryllis belladonna Flower Meaning

Posted on Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 and is filed under News

Amaryllis belladonna Flower Meaning

Amaryllis belladonna

Amaryllis belladonna is named after the Greek beauty Amaryllis and bella donna which means beautiful lady in Italian.  Botanically belladonna also means poisonous.

According to the Greek mythology,  Amaryllis was a virginal nymph, timid and shy but with a spine of steel. She fell head over heels in love with Alteo, an icy-hearted shepherd. Alteo reputed to be as handsome as Apollo and as strong as Hercules.  She was determined to be true only to him, no matter what the consequences. Indifferent to her charms, Alteo claimed his only desire was that a new flower be brought to him, a flower that had never before existed in the world. Amaryllis consulted the Oracle at Delphi and was instructed to pierce her heart with a golden arrow at Alteo’s door. So she did. Dressed in maidens white, for thirty consecutive nights, dripping blood all the while. The shepherd finally opened his door to discover a flower which had sprung from the blood of her heart. The flower was named Amaryllis.

Here we have the history of the introduction of Amaryllis belladonna to Greece from South Africa. It caused quite a commotion then and still does today in Western Gardens for anyone fortunate enough to find them for sale. It was all types of trade (spice, gold, diamonds, and sugar which in turn brought slaves from Africa to other parts of the world to work in the sugar and tobacco fields) that is very important to the distribution of the Amaryllis Belladonna as well as all South African Plants. Belladonnas were widely cultivated by the Romans and Greeks and later by the seafaring and trading powers Portugal, Spain and Italy. The bulbs are still found in gardens of nobles in major cities, trading ports, church gardens and around plantation houses of wealthy merchants.

Amaryllis belladonna are also known as “Naked Ladies” because the greenery comes up in Spring then dies back, as it goes dormant for the summer. In late summer a naked spike that resembles a cobra emerges out of the ground and then pops open produces many blooms that are a soft pink color. They smell like bubble gum and last for a long time in the garden and make a great long lasting cut flower.

Shop Amaryllis Belladona bouquets now!.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 at 10:00 am and is filed under News.
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2 responses to “Amaryllis belladonna Flower Meaning”

  1. Angela says:

    Thanks for sharing the beautiful flower image and providing information.

  2. Colleen says:

    Can we also buy bulbs

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