There is a common misconception between the real genera of these amaryllis flowers for some folks who aren’t floral lovers. The blossoms from each genus look so alike that you could hardly tell them apart! But nonetheless, the beauty of each is just as exquisite and truly a sight to marvel at once in bloom.
There is no doubt that the amaryllis is a beautiful flower filled with a mysterious meaning and symbolism. It is used in the ornamental and industrial fields and has acclaimed folkloric medical use. It also comes in different colors that each has its own meaning.
A white and red amaryllis flower means creativity and good luck. Meanwhile, a pink or purple flower symbolizes kindness or pride. A yellow or orange amaryllis flower represents authenticity or happiness. If you are that curious, keep on reading to find out more about the amaryllis!
History of Amaryllis Flowers
The amaryllis flowers are tropical plants belonging to the genera Amaryllis or Hippeastrum. To give this a little more background, flowers from the genus Amaryllis consist of the Belladonna lily – a beautiful deep red flower.
The amaryllis in this highlight is from the genus Hippeastrum – which is what this article is all about! The amaryllis bulb was first described in 1745 as an erect springtime plant with vibrantly colored flowers. It is a part of the Amaryllidaceae or Amaryllis family and is native to most parts of Central and South America. To date, there are about 90 species of this genus.
The Greek name Hippeastrum comes from the Greek word hippeus and astron meaning a mountain knight’s star or horseman’s star. Looking closely at the flower’s shape, many say it resembles a star-shaped medieval weapon!
The common name amaryllis was taken after the Greek female name Amaryllis from Greek mythology – surprisingly, this is also where the genus name of the Belladonna lily comes from. It comes from the Greek word amarysso which means to sparkle.
Amaryllis can also be known through different common names such as the Dutch amaryllis or the Christmas Rose. Some of the major species – beloved by many gardeners include the Amaryllis belladonna or Jersey lily or March lily, Amaryllis Hippeastrum angustifolium Pax, the Amaryllis lily Hippeastrum aglaiae, and the Azucena Hippeastrum argentinum.
When growing amaryllis plants, it prefers indirect sunlight over direct sunlight. It produces a hollow stem and more stalks when the bulb gets bigger.
Symbolism of Amaryllis Blossoms
Similar to the beautiful blooms in the amaryllis genus – the flowers from the Hippeastrum genus have a similar symbolism. The Victorian Language of flowers describes these florals as a symbol of pride and glory. Wondering why? It is because of the tall and grand stalks and bright flowers of this plant!
Surprisingly, the Victorians also regard the amaryllis symbolism as a representation of haughtiness, splendor, and amazement during the process of spiritual awakening. A very tacky symbolism when compared to other floras!
On a brighter note, the Christmas Rose can also symbolize adventurousness, enthusiasm, and passion. The upper torso shape of the flowers also represent hope and the celebratory progress towards Huntington’s disease research.
Also, thanks to Alfred Tennyson, the amaryllis was made popular as floral gifts during the holiday season all because of his poem The Daisy.
Meaning of Amaryllis Flowers
The amaryllis meaning is one that not only makes it stand out amongst other flowers. The meanings depending on its color and similar shapes vary. Its deep meaning gives it more depth with the beauty it beholds. In the language of flowers, Hippeastrum blossoms hold the meaning of beauty, timid but proud, and immortality.
There is a message hidden in these flowers once it blooms. When in bloom, an amaryllis means – if you have it, flaunt it! Having this message also means having self-confidence in yourself with the new things about to come through!
What does a White Amaryllis Flower Mean?
A white Hippeastrum flower means a new beginning guided by an open mind, growth, and creativity. These white blooms are great at symbolizing brand new things.
What does a Red Amaryllis Flower Symbolize?
The color red is a passionate color that symbolizes the exciting emotions of love of an Amaryllis. A bright red amaryllis is also symbolic of timeless beauty and pure enthusiasm. In Chinese culture, it is considered a lucky flower.
What does a Pink Amaryllis Floret Represent?
Hippeastrum flowers with pink petals are a representation of a woman’s tenderness, kindness, and motherly nurture. These florets also embody reluctant admiration, heartfelt empathy, and keen sensitivity.
What does a Purple Amaryllis Floret Mean?
The color purple is a wonderful and beautiful color of a flower. It symbolizes pride, strength, and determination in life.
What does a Yellow Amaryllis Blossom Indicate?
A yellow Hippeastrum blossom is indicative of a forthcoming challenge! In this light, it serves as a reminder of keeping your originality and inquisitiveness during times of adventure.
What does an Orange Amaryllis Bloom Symbolize?
An exuding happiness and glee are symbolized by these orange flowers. Additionally, these blossoms are known to be socially inviting beacons to joyous occasions! If that isn’t good enough, these flowers also symbolize positive energy and good health.
What is the Biblical Meaning of an Amaryllis Bloom?
Although symbolizing pride – this is not always a negative symbolic attribute. In Proverbs 16:18, these flowers are believed to symbolize the pride of the Christian faith. It was said in the scriptures that pride comes first before destruction and a haughty spirit before the fall – just what an Amaryllis flower symbolizes!
What are the Folktales or Mythologies Associated with an Amaryllis Blossom?
The Greek mythology associated with a Hippeastrum flower is coincidentally the same tale for the Belladonna Lily! According to Greek mythology, the Amaryllis flower blossomed from a story of unrequited love.
Amaryllis was a beautiful maiden in love with the handsome shepherd Alteo. He was said to have the strength of Achilles and the beauty of Apollo. The only way to have his love was by bearing a never-before-seen flower. In this love story, Amaryllis sought for the oracle of Delphi.
She then devoted her emotions to him by piercing her heart with a golden arrow for thirty days and thirty nights! On the 30th day, a bright red flower bloomed from where her blood fell – this was none other than the Hippeastrum flower! The beautiful flower grew outside of Alteo’s home.
Aside from the amaryllis blooming outside Alteo’s house, there is another legend about this flower. According to some folk, the Amaryllis is a proud and showy flower that certainly loves attention. Do not let this deceive you because, with its beauty, it also bears no fragrance. Why? Because this flower did not want anyone getting too close to it! Many say to just admire it from a distance. Like a love lost, all you can really do is to love it from afar!
What is the Spiritual Influence of an Amaryllis Flower?
The spiritual influence of Hippeastrum flowers guides one in finding the playfulness in being creative. It initiates a positive chakra that sparks joy and self-acceptance in the newfound creativity.
In a deeper sense, this flower raises spiritual vibrations to overcome the fears and anxieties of venturing out this newfound creativity. It guides one to a path of clarity full of determination to move forward with a bright outlook ahead.
What does an Amaryllis Floral Tattoo Symbolize?
A tattoo holds a deep meaning for those who have it decorated on their body. An Amaryllis flower tattoo embodies the symbolic meaning of pastoral poetry of love and pride. Just like in Greek mythology about the love story of Amaryllis and Alteo, this floral design symbolizes blind devotion and determined ambition. In fact, it is also a reminder to have confidence in yourself and that your beauty is unlike any other!
Uses of a Amaryllis Plant
Amaryllises are a favorite ornamental used as garden decorations, potted plants, or as a cut flowers in bouquets and vases. You can simply cut the flowers with a sharp knife and it’ll grow right back!
It is the perfect gift or housewarming gift for friends, family, or a loved one. In the Christmas season, these flowers are the perfect holiday gift during the holiday season. Amaryllis bulbs bring the festive cheer with its bright red color of flowers.
In some cultures, the red Hippeastrum flowers were traditionally used to make a natural dye that colored ink and paper. Apart from this, some traditional cultures have a few folkloric medical uses for the plant’s many flowers. When creating medicines with this flower, it has physiological effects to take note of.
The traditional French practice was to make an infusion with the floral petals and undergo a floral preservative. This infusion has antispasmodic properties and was used to treat whooping coughs and colds.
In Guyana, the bulbs were commonly used to treat asthma and as a laxative to induce vomiting. The Indians also made use of the bulbs as a topical treatment for wounds and tumors. Jamaicans also culturally practiced using the bulbs to make plaster with bread or Mexican coriander (Eryngium foetidum) to treat swellings and sores.
A word of warning that it’s a must to always consult a medical professional before using this plant or any part of it for medical purposes.
~ image source: depositphotos/fastfun23