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Amaryllis Belladonna

Amaryllis Belladonna

Driving around Cape Town is a real treat at the moment, Naked Ladies have appeared everywhere. This to me always reminds me that Summer is over.

The flowers always appear before the strap like leaves. This strange phenomenon of flowering before the leaves appear is known as hysteranthy.

Amaryllis is Greek feminine and is named after a beautiful shepherdess. The specific epithet belladonna means beautiful lady. The appearance of the tall, flower stalk without any leaves accounts for the common name “naked lady”. Amaryllis belladonna in its natural habitat is found in small dense groups among rocks. Therefore the best place to plant them would be in a rock garden. In a created landscape, Amaryllis can be used mixed in between blue Agapanthus as a good combination, as the evergreen leaves of the Agapanthus provide skirts for the naked ladies. They can also be grown between a ground cover or mixed annual or herbaceous border.