Amaryllis Belladonna is a bulbous perennial native to the Cape Province of South Africa. Sometimes confused with Nerines or the tender, indoor-grown house plant Hippeastrum, Amaryllis Belladonna is quite different and is an autumn flowering, single species.
‘Belladonna’ or ‘beautiful lady’ is a very appropriate name for this plant, which produces clusters of up to six large, trumpet shaped, fragrant pale pink flowers. These are arranged at the top of a 50cm tall purple shaded stem or scape which normally develops in early autumn, before the basal clump of strap shaped leaves develops. The fresh green leaves last through the winter, before dying back in the spring, and the bulb is then dormant through the summer before continuing the flowering cycle the following autumn.
When growing in the wild in it’s native habitat, Amaryllis Belladonna grows in stony, scrubby areas, where its flowering cycle is frequently triggered by bush fires……fortunately this isn’t necessary to get this beautiful plant to flower in the average garden. ….
What it does need, when grown in cultivation, is a gritty, very well drained soil or compost, that will be kept dry when the bulb is dormant during the summer, then with a little more moisture available during the autumn flowering period. Amaryllis belladonna also likes to be planted with the bulb nose at the surface and then mulched with grit to protect it over winter, so that the strap shaped leaves can do their vital job of building up the bulbs reserves ready for the next flowering season.
Amaryllis belladonna can be grown outdoors if you have a sheltered microclimate such as a south-facing walled garden or courtyard in one of the warmer parts of south west Britain, but it is generally happier when grown in a container and brought into protection over the winter – so it makes an absolutely spectacular addition to any conservatory.
Normally only available as dormant, dry bulbs in late summer, here at Halcyon, we are glad to offer these beautiful bulbs ready potted in 2 litre pots, and available for planting throughout the year.
For further information on Amaryllis Belladonna
If you particularly enjoy growing Amaryllis belladonna and other similar plants, you will find further information on the website of the Nerine and Amaryllid society at http://www.nerineandamaryllidsociety.co.uk and other interesting bulbous plants in the bulbs section of our Halcyon plants website.