One of the joys of my new fynbos garden is the discovery of a new (to me) flower that I didn't know was hidden beneath the rather dry and sandy soil. When I reversed out the driveway a few days ago my eye was caught by a glorious pop of colour and when I stopped to investigate I discovered clumps of Amaryllis Belladonna popping up all over the place. Later that afternoon one of my lovely new neighbours dropped in and gave me a bouquet of the same lillies.
From an internet search, http://www.plantzafrica.com/, I learnt that other popular names for this bulb are Belladonna Lily or Naked Lady lilly. The interesting thing about them is that the flowers are borne on the end of a long purple/red and green stem about 50cm high but the strap-like leaves are only produced after flowering and remain green throughout the winter period. Apparently this strange phenomanon is known as hysteranthy.
Up to twelve flowers may appear from the flowering stem and the trumpet-shaped pink (or white) flowers are softly scented and delicately curled at the end of the petals.
"Amaryllis is Greek feminine and is named after a beautiful shepherdess. The specific epithet belladonna means beautiful lady. The appearance of the tall, flower stalk without any leaves accounts for the common name "naked lady" "
The swirling sugar pink colors of the petals in close up remind me of the gauzy tutus my girls wore for ballet and eisteddfods all those years ago. At the time the endless fetching and carrying for ballet, tap, tennis, hockey, and singing was absolutely exhausting but I look back on them very fondly. Any transporting I do these days is when I'm in visiting the grandsons in Brisbane so the activites are soccer, rugby, tennis, cricket, chess, guitar, orchestra and choir. Nice to know that the musical gene is being carried on in the family.
The flower pix are mine and the information is from http://www.plantsafrica.com/