winter splendor

The word Amaryllis has Greek origins, meaning "splendor." The true Amaryllis is the Amaryllis belladonna, a smaller variety than its more commonly recognized relative, Hippeastrum (what we commonly refer to as the Amaryllis and have come to associate with the winter holidays). The Hippeastrum (new name Amaryllis) was first discovered on an Andean Mountains plant expedition in the early nineteenth century.


Legend has it that the Amaryllis began as a shy, timid nymph. Amaryllis fell deeply in love with Alteo, a shepherd with Hercules's strength and Apollo's beauty, but her affections were unrequited. Hoping that she could win him over by bestowing upon him the thing he desired
most—a flower so unique, it had never existed in the world before—Amaryllis sought advice from the Oracle of Delphi.

Following the Oracle's instructions, Amaryllis dressed in maiden's white and appeared at Alteo's door for 30 nights, each time piercing her heart with a golden arrow. When at last Alteo opened his door, there before him was a striking crimson flower, sprung from the blood of Amaryllis's heart. Sigh.

:images (top) sk├Âna hem, (bottom) d:m


A Cuban In London said...

No wonder you have been name-checked by My Castle in Spain. Your images are amazing.

Greetings from London.

vicki archer said...

Love the photograph and love even more the story of how the amaryllis came to be, xv.

Jane Flanagan said...

Love this - I have one right now and am waiting for it to bloom. Any day now!

please sir said...

WOW the story and photo and the setting...all pure perfection!

Unknown said...

I love the flowers but the wallpaper is gorgeous!

paris parfait said...

Gorgeous! The amaryllis has a special place in my heart, because my late grandmother got one every Christmas as a special treat in the small-town where she lived (hard to find, too).