Named after a shepherdess in Greek mythology, amaryllis (Hippeastrum) actually means “sparkling” and refers to the beautiful bloom which adorns this plant’s long, leafless stem. A young physician from Leipzig, Eduard Frederich Poeppig, discovered this perennial holiday favorite on a plant hunting expedition in Chile in 1828.
Poeppig was so delighted with his discovery that he was, in the words of a biographer, “often compelled to relieve his full heart by uttering loud shouts of joy, to which his faithful dog and sole companion and witness of his delight responded with howls of equal delight.”
Every year, we look forward to filling our homes with amaryllis and delight in their flamboyant starry trumpets. Our favorites this year include the Red Pearl, the Exotica and the Alfresco. While growing amaryllis is always fun to do, we often sneak one or two of our faux plants into our holiday decorating.
So even if we wilt during the season, we know our amaryllis will keep our homes looking fresh and festive. In the language of flowers, amaryllis also means “splendid beauty”… and there’s no wonder why!