Friday, December 07, 2007

Friday Flowers: Hippeastrum

The solarium in our hospital is a place where patients can sit and relax, or work with plants and flowers. I took one of my patients there today and saw a number of plants which I have known as an Amaryllis in various stages of growth. These large bulbs are popular Christmas gifts as they grow quickly with wonderful, showy blooms.

I looked up Amaryllis and was surprised to learn that the popular name for these plants is a misnomer. The Amaryllis belladonna is also known as a naked lady, a flower I featured in an earlier Friday Flowers post. The plant pictured here is a Hippeastrum, which is Greek for Horseman's Star. It is native to subtropical regions of the Americas and is a genus of the family Amaryllidaceae. (The Amaryllis belladonna is an African genus of the same family.)

Call this plant whatever you want, but there is no doubt that it is a cheerful indoor bloom for snowy and cold days, a bit of bright colour when it is grey and white outdoors. It grows so quickly that changes can be seen daily making it an interesting flower for children to observe.

What a good idea for a Christmas gift!

6 comments:

  1. Such a gorgeous bloom. And just the sight I need to see to celebrate finishing grading all my students' research papers.
    My eyes are bleary with reading mostly bad prose!

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  2. Donna- I hope your task is done soon! I don't think I would have the fortitude to look at bad prose on a Friday night.

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  3. They do have a wonderful flower to them! I also love its color!

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  4. My mom has several of these and they are alway just so spectacular in their blooming. What a lovely sight for your patients. :c)

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  5. What a beautiful flower, Ruth. I have a friend who grows them indoors at her house too. The blossoms are so HUGE!

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  6. Monarch- I think I will need to grow one in January...

    Jayne- some people are able to make them re-bloom year after year. I haven't figured that out yet.

    RuthieJ- Yes, they are huge. That is why I think I will wait til January when the Christmas stuff is away.

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