Amaryllis Facts

Amaryllis Facts
Amaryllis is monocot plant that belongs to the amaryllis family. It originates from South Africa, but it can be found around the world today. Amaryllis grows in tropical and subtropical areas, on the moist, well-drained, sandy and slightly acidic soil, in the partial shade. Cultivation of amaryllis started in the 18th century. There are more than 600 varieties of amaryllis today. South Africa and Holland are among the greatest manufacturers of amaryllis in the world. People cultivate amaryllis in ornamental purposes and use it for the preparation of various floral arrangements.
Interesting Amaryllis Facts:
Amaryllis has erect, hollow stem that can reach 18 to 36 inches in height. Stem is green with a tinge of purple color.
Amaryllis has underground bulb that can be 1 to 4 inches wide. Bulb produces 3 to 7 leaves and 2 flowering stalks.
Amaryllis has green, strap-shaped leaves arranged in two rows. Leaves appear after the flowers.
Amaryllis produces 2 to 12 funnel-shaped, showy and fragrant flowers on top of the flowering stalks. Flowers consist of 6 tepals (three sepals which look like petals and three petals) that are usually white (with crimson veins), purple or pink colored. Amaryllis can produce single or double blooms.
Amaryllis blooms during the spring and summer. Flowers attract carpenter bees and moths which are responsible for the pollination of this plant.
Amaryllis is also known as "naked lady" because it produces flowers before leaves on the "naked", leafless flowering stalks.
Fruit of amaryllis is capsule filled with large, heavy seed.
Amaryllis propagates via bulbs and seed. Plant starts to bloom 6 year after sowing.
"Belladonna lilly" is another synonym for amaryllis (even though lily and amaryllis are not closely related). Name refers to the similar growing habits and morphology of these two types of plants. Amaryllis is known as "Easter lily" in some areas because it produces flowers around Easter.
Word "amaryllis" originates from the Latin word "amarus" which means "bitter". Name refers to the bitter taste of the bulb.
According to the Greek legend, this plant was named after the nymph called Amaryllis who fell in love with shepherd called Alteo. Due to unrequited love, Amaryllis pierced her heart with golden arrow and start spreading drops of blood along the way toward Alteo's cottage for 30 nights in a row. On the thirtieth day, beautiful flowers appeared from the soil covered with her blood and melted the "ice" around Alteo's heart, who finally fell in love with Amaryllis.
Amaryllis can be cultivated in the gardens or as indoor plant.
More than 10 million bulbs of amaryllis are sold each year in the USA.
Certain substances isolated from amaryllis can be used in treatment of Alzheimer's disease.
Bulb of amaryllis can survive and produce new plants each year nearly 75 year.

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