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Secret Meaning

Pride, Splendid Beauty

Alternative Names:

Belladonna Lily, Naked Ladies

Facts & Folkore:

Often seen or given as gifts during the cold Christmas season, the name Amaryllis is taken from a shepherdess in Virgil's pastoral Eclogues, meaning "to sparkle" and also from "Amarella" for the bitterness of the bulb.

Legend has it that the amaryllis began as a shy, timid nymph. Amaryllis fell deeply in love with Alteo, a shepherd with Hercules' strength and Apollo's beauty, but her affections were unrequited. Hoping that she could win him over by bestowing upon him the thing he desired most - a flower so unique it had never existed in the world before - Amaryllis sought advice from the oracle of Delphi.

Following his instructions, Amaryllis dressed in maiden's white and appeared at Alteo's door for 30 nights, each time piercing her heart with a golden arrow. When at last Alteo opened his door, there before him was a striking crimson flower, sprung from the blood of Amaryllis's heart.

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