Amaryllis Belladonna

Amaryllis Belladonna

These Ladies are Pretty in Pink!

Item # 38371

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An Amaryllis for the garden?! Yes -- and this is the real thing, a species native to South Africa that sets plenty of seeds and will colonize magnificently where it is happy. Give it a go in your landscape this season, and we think you will be delighted!

Amaryllis belladonna is a late-blooming bulb that, just like Lycoris squamigera, sends up bare stems almost overnight at some unexpected moment in late summer or early to mid-fall. Usually you have just decided that whatever you planted in that spot has vanished without a trace, and are shopping around for a suitable replacement. Then, one morning -- tall, nearly black stems with masses of buds! The miracle has begun!

The second miracle is the fragrance of A. belladonna. Who would expect an Amaryllis to smell so sweet? Well, of course the "Amaryllis" we're used to as winter houseplants are really a completely different species: Hippeastrum. Belladonna is the genuine article, prepared to attract pollinators with her sweet fragrance and perpetuate herself by scattering seed around herself in late fall. What a joy!

The flowers are funnel shaped and about 4 inches long, with a soft pink and white coloring that gives rise to the common name of Naked Ladies Lily. (The leafless stem also contributes to this "naked" theme, which again is confusing since Lycoris is also called that!) The central anthers are golden. You can expect up to a dozen blooms from a mature Belladonna, filling the autumn garden with color.

Native to rocky slopes and cliffsides in the Cape region of South Africa, Belladonna can be fickle about bloom time, but it grows readily in any well-drained soil. Give it lots of sunshine and make sure the soil stays well drained, amending it if needed to keep it from getting too compacted or clay-ey. Belladonna is quite drought-tolerant, but the best growth and flowering will always occur with regular watering. Enjoy this unusual and very beautiful late-season bulb! Zones 7-10.