Saturday, February 28, 2009

Amaryllis belladonna, Naked Lady

Amaryllis belladonna ''Windhoek' 
Naked Lady bulb

Why the common name "naked lady"? I guess it originated because this bulb flowers when the foliage is dormant and the bare stems appear well above the ground usually up to 90cm tall, though the name belladonna means beautiful woman.
This bulb is a true survivor and is often found in abandoned gardens and farmhouses .It has adapted to a hot baking early summer and then sends up the flowers in response to late summer or autumn rain. The hot pink coloured flowers on purple stems of A. b. 'Rubra' scream at you from quite a distance so it hard not to notice it in flower This cultivar A. b. 'Windhoek' has a white throat which makes it a bit more subdued. There is a white flowering form called A.b. 'Hathor'
I don't grow them in my nursery but all are readily available and appear in spring bulb catalogues .It is hardy over a range of climates.

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