Standing out with its large petals and bright colors, amaryllis is always able to attract people’s attention. However, besides what’s visible to the eye, there is an interesting history behind those attractive flowers.
Amaryllis meaning has been discussed and developed for centuries. It remains to exist to these days, sending the message of beauty and other qualities.
A. About Amaryllis: Facts and Characteristics
In addition to its scientific name, Amaryllis belladonna, amaryllis flower goes by other popular names, including Belladonna Lily and naked lady plants.
Amaryllis is characterized by its bulbous flower petals that come in bright colors. It is originated from South and Central America, but also cultivated in the Caribbean and South Africa.
At the present time, amaryllis can be found around the world, in both tropical and subtropical areas.
This perennial flowering plant belongs to a monotypic genus, making it the one and only species in its own genus, Amaryllis. Despite this, amaryllis is often mistaken for bulbous plants from other genera, especially Hippeastrum.
Some people assume that this flower comes from the same genus as an Aztec lily and Jacobean lily, when in fact, it’s not.
Amaryllis or Belladonna Lily has long and hollow stems. In the blooming season, 2-3 flowers are born at the highest point of each stem.
The flowers usually reach 10-20 centimeters broad, while the stems can grow up to 60 centimeters tall. With such size, amaryllis is considered a large flower plant.
B. The History behind Amaryllis Name
The history of amaryllis flower can be traced back to Greek mythology. As told in a Greek poem, the name amaryllis actually comes from a nymph with the same name.
Once, Amaryllis the nymph fell in love with a strong, handsome shepherd and gardener named Alteo.
Although Amaryllis had expressed her feelings, Alteo didn’t respond to it. In desperation, she decided to seek the Oracle’s advice.
The Oracle ordered Amaryllis to pierce her heart with a golden arrow for thirty nights while standing in front of Alteo’s house.
Days gone by, but Alteo didn’t seem to care. Finally, on her thirtieth night, a flower bloomed from Amaryllis’s blood and Alteo started to pay attention. The flower, of course, is called amaryllis after the nymph’s name.
C. The Meanings of Amaryllis Colors
Red and white are the most common amaryllis colors. However, on some occasions, this flower comes in various shades of red, especially pink and orange.
Each color of amaryllis represents different meanings.
1. Red amaryllis
In general, red amaryllis represents love, passion, and attraction. Meanwhile, in China, it is believed as a lucky flower.
Regardless of its diverse meanings, red amaryllis can be used for the same purposes, that is, showing your attraction to someone.
2. White amaryllis
White is another popular color of amaryllis. Similar to the red one, white amaryllis also has different meanings. On the one hand, it represents purity and spirituality, but on the other hand it is used to express mourning and sadness.
The second meaning is considered more applicable because this flower is often brought to the funeral.
3. Orange amaryllis
Orange amaryllis symbolizes positive energy which leads to happiness and good health. Due to this belief, the flower is often chosen as a houseplant or home decoration.
Those who bring orange amaryllis to their home wish that the flower can surround the house with a positive vibe all the time.
4. Pink amaryllis
The meaning of pink amaryllis is more general than any other colors. Although the color pink is associated with romance in most situations, pink amaryllis actually symbolizes friendship and platonic relationship.
For that reason, this flower can be given to anyone as a friendship symbol, regardless of their age and gender.
D. Amaryllis Meaning and Symbolism
In line with its beautiful appearance, amaryllis is mainly used as a symbol of beauty. Moreover, this flower also symbolizes pride while catching everybody’s attention.
1. Amaryllis as a symbol of beauty
First and foremost, amaryllis symbolism is closely linked to the natural beauty. If you love or admire someone because of their attractiveness, sending a bouquet of amaryllis is considered a good gesture.
However, because beauty is the main and deepest meaning of this flower, you need to be careful when giving it away in case it sends a wrong message.
2. Amaryllis as a symbol of pride
Amaryllis also symbolizes pride and vanity. It is not entirely a good thing because some people might be offended when they are referred to such qualities.
Because of this, the symbol of pride is sometimes softened up into a symbol of confidence and strong will.
3. Amaryllis as the center of attention
Amaryllis is a large flowering plant with colorful features. Therefore, it is easy for this flower to be the center of attention. Whether it is planted in the garden or brought inside as a houseplant, amaryllis can attract people’s attraction and admiration.
E. Where and How to Grow Amaryllis
Looking at its attractive flowers and special meaning behind them, it is not surprising if you are interested in growing amaryllis in your own garden. Amaryllis is actually quite easy to grow.
This flower can bear any weather and season, but may die in the winter with heavy frosts. Amaryllis bulbs are better to be planted between late September and early October.
The first rule in growing amaryllis is providing the best type of soil. Amaryllis will thrive if it is planted in well-drained soil. Alternatively, you can mix equal parts of peat and perlite as planting medium.
When planting the flower bulbs, one-third to one-half of their parts should appear above the surface of the soil.
Once the bulbs are planted, you need to water them thoroughly. Later on, watering should be done regularly about 1-3 times a week.
Moreover, the bulbs and the leaves need to be fertilized every ten days during the vegetation state. A balanced houseplant fertilizer is highly recommended to use.
Learning about the facts and history behind popular flowers is always interesting. It is basically the same with amaryllis. Now that you’ve known about amaryllis meaning and symbolism, you can cherish this beautiful flower more than usual.
More importantly, you can present it to the important people in your life on some special occasions.