“If you have enjoyed a potted Amaryllis blooming in mid-winter, then you have met the Amaryllis family. Members of this family are typically perennial plants that resprout each year from underground bulbs. The leaves are usually somewhat juicy and tender, rather than fibrous.
“The flowers are often grouped in an umbel (like an umbrella), or sometimes solitary, and typically emerge from a spathe-like bract (a modified leaf wrapped around the flowerhead). Otherwise, individual flowers are typical lily-like blossoms with 3 sepals and 3 petals that are identical in size and color….
“As currently defined, the Amaryllis family encompasses an estimated 60 genera and 850 species, only a handful of which are found in North America. The potted flowers we know as ‘amaryllis’ were segregated from Amaryllis into a closely related new genus, Hippeastrum, but the old name remains as the common name. Edibility varies significantly across the family. Onions (Allium) and their kin have sometimes been segregated into their own family, and may be yet again.”
This is the second of three posts featuring photos of Amaryllis flowers that I took at Oakland Cemetery’s gardens twice upon a time, within the past few weeks. The previous post is Amaryllis! Amaryllis! (1 of 3).
I took the photographs of the white Amaryllis in June, and took the rest just this week. The ones I took this week — while they resemble those in my first post — show off more saturated red, pink, and magenta colors. It’s mildly intriguing to me that the lighter colored flowers of the same family often appear a few weeks before those with richer colors, and having seen this same growth pattern several years in a row, I guess it might mean something. They are also less translucent — more light is absorbed by the flower petals than passes through, giving them a thicker appearing texture — so I wonder if they’ve evolved to better handle the long, hot (very damn hot!) days of a southern July than the varieties that bloom in early to middle June.
Thanks for taking a look!