Saturday, February 9

Profile of a Plant: Hippeastrum or Amaryllis


  • Common Name(s): Amaryllis is actually the common name even though it is the generic name for another plant that looks similar, but is a hardier specimen from South Africa.
  • Scientific Name: Hippeastrum (hip-ee-AS-trum) from the Amaryllidaceae family. Hippeastrum is Greek for knights star. The common name, Amaryllis, is taken from the Greek word amarysso, which means "to sparkle," but there is no concrete story behind the name of this plant. Still, I do enjoy the shepherdess story that is circulating across the Internet. In Greek mythology, Amaryllis was the name of a shepherdess who shed her own blood to prove her true love, and in so doing inspired the naming of this bright red flower.