From The Plant Encyclopedia
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|"Naked Lady" flowers in the Sinkyone Wilderness State Park, California.|
|Category||Perennial, Indoor Plants|
|Species in this genus|
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- Cultivation: For-Gardeners, For-Horticulturists
- Light: Sun, Dappled, Part-Shade
- Soil: Rich, Loam, Sand, Rock
- pH: 7
- Moisture: Wet, Medium, Dry, Well-Drained
- Form: Herbaceous
- Habit: Perennial
- Flower: Large, Petals, Orange, Red, Pink, Purple, White
- Fruit/Seed: Small
- Foliage: Leaves, Green
- Uses: Ornamental, Houseplant
Amaryllis (pronounced /ˌæməˈrɪləs/)<ref>Sunset Western Garden Book, 1995:606–607</ref> is also known as the belladonna lily or naked lady. The genus has two species and the more famous of the two, Amaryllis belladonna, is a native of South Africa, particularly the rocky southwest region near the Cape. It should not be confused with Hippeastrum, a flowering Bulb commonly sold in the winter months for its ability to bloom indoors.
From the dry ground in late summer (August in zone 7) each bulb produces one or two leafless stems 30–60 cm tall, each of which bears a cluster of 2 to 12 funnel-shaped Flowers at their tops. Each flower is 6–10 cm diameter with six Tepals (three outer sepals, three inner petals, with similar appearance to each other). The usual color is white with crimson veins, but pink or purple also occur naturally. The common name "naked lady" stems from the plant's pattern of flowering when the foliage has died down.
The species was introduced into cultivation at the beginning of the eighteenth century. They reproduce slowly either by bulb division or seeds and have gradually naturalized from plantings in urban and suburban areas throughout the lower elevations and coastal areas in much of the West Coast of the USA since these environments mimic their native South African habitat.
Many bulbs sold as Amaryllis and described as 'ready to bloom for the holidays' actually belong to the allied genus Hippeastrum, despite being labeled as 'Amaryllis' by sellers and nurseries. Adding to the name confusion, some bulbs of other species with a similar growth and flowering pattern are also sometimes called this plant's common name "naked ladies". Some of those species have their own more widely used and accepted common names, such as the Resurrection Lily (Lycoris squamigera).
There is an Amaryllis belladonna × Crinum moorei cross, called × Amarcrinum , which has named cultivars.