Tuesday, February 4, 2014

An Amaryllis to Keep Me Sane

Long Island just got another dumping of snow yesterday, with more expected over the next few days. Yes, it's lovely, but I am aching for spring to come. I'm anxious to see my bulbs emerge from the ground and the trees come alive with bright green leaves. Thankfully, I have a beautiful blooming amaryllis on my windowsill to brighten my day and remind me that spring will come eventually. 

The plants commonly called amaryllis are actually members of the Hippeastrum genus, which consist of many species and hybrids of bulbous, flowering plants. The scientific name Hippeastrum is Greek for "horseman's star" - a reference to the large star-shaped flowers. Most of the species are native to South America.

Soon after the bulb is planted, a large flower stalk emerges topped with a cluster of trumpet shaped flowers. As the flowers begin to fade, large strap-like green leaves emerge. The flower stalk is removed and the leaves can remain ornamental for quite some time. These leaves produce food by photosynthesis and store it in the bulb. Eventually, the leaves wither and die allowing the bulb to go into dormancy. If kept in a cool, dry spot, it can bloom for you again next year. 

Maybe next year we won't get as much snow. But winter will still be cold and gray. You can bet I'll have another amaryllis on my windowsill to help keep me sane while my garden hibernates until spring. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for leaving a comment! Even if I don't reply to each comment, please know that I do read every one of them and truly enjoy hearing from you!