Native to Brazil, Amaryllis are ornamental flowering perennials with outstanding flowers resting atop scapes (flower stalks). Hybridization has led to a wide range of colors and varying characteristics.
Hippeastrum reticulatum (Amaryllis)
Deciduous: evergreen in warmer climates, no foliage during complete dormancy
Hardiness Zones: 8-10
Height: foliage typically to 45 centimeters (18 inches) tall (in arch/curve formation), taller if too heavily shaded, flower stalks (scapes) to 60 centimeters (24 inches) tall
Diameter: foliage typically to 45 centimeters (18 inches) long (in arch/curve formation), longer if too heavily shaded
Growth Rate: fast in spring (post dormancy period), slows dramatically in mid to late summer
Root System: roots thick, white-cream colored, sprawling from bottom of bulb
Subspecies: var. reticulatum, var. striatifolium, many cultivars exist for gardening/ornamental purposes
Tolerates: light shade
Problems (major): Mealybugs, thrips, grasshoppers, caterpillars, and snails (if outdoors) can become serious pests consuming foliage if not detected early and treated.
Problems (minor): Flower spikes often require staking. These require a dormancy period (either completely removed the soil and kept dry in a dark place or with reduced light) of typically 4-8 weeks. Foliage may become overly lengthy if kept in too much shade. Red scorch and leaf spots may be harmful but are rarely lethal.
Poisonous: toxic to ingest
Soil requirements: prefers humusy, nutrient-rich, well-drained loamy (medium) soils
Air requirements: not sufficiently researched
Watering requirement: moderatete, keep soil minimally moist at all times
Sun requirement: full sun/bright shade in applicable zones outdoors, partial shade when grown indoors (frequently next to windowsills, protect from afternoon sun)
Leaf shape: strap-shaped, rounded end, light green (full sun) to deep green (partial shade)
Leaf size: sprawling to 45 centimeters (18 inches) long by 3 centimeters (1 inch) wide, somewhat thick
Stem: Absent, foliage and flowers emerge directly from bulb.
Flowering structure: Multiple bisexual flowers (2-4) range in color from white to pink to red to purple and sit atop a tall, green, succulent flowering stalk (scape). There may be 2 scapes per bulb.
Flowering frequency: Flowering occurs after a dormancy period, typically in spring or early summer. Foliage may emerge before the scape(s).
Subterranean storage organ: bulb, evenly rounded, to 15 centimeters (6 inches) in diameter
The flowers are extremely showing and come in a wide range of colors due to extensive hybridization.
Amaryllis are used as ornamentals in gardens or as house plants for their exquisite blooms.
All of the images provided were taken by me. They may be used for educational/informational purposes only, provided that this article/online journal is appropriately cited first. The amaryllis pictured is Hippeastrum ‘Appleblossom’.