Common Names: Amaryllis, Barbados Lily

Botanical names: Hippeastrum (hip-ee-AS-trum)

Availability: Year-round, peak supplies October through May

Vase life: 7 to 14 days

Storage temperatures: 41 - 50 degrees Fahrenheit

Ethylene Sensitive: Yes

Description: Four to six large trumpet-shaped blossoms clustered at the top of a long, thick leafless stem.

Color: Red, pink, orange, salmon, white, several shades, and bi-colors.

Botanical facts: Hippeastrum comes from the Greek word hippos (horse) referring to the blossom of the species H. piniceum, which was likened to the head of a horse. The Amaryllis is related to the daffodil. Native to the Andes Mountains of Chile and Peru. The Amaryllis was discovered in 1828 by Eduard Frederich Poeppig, a young physician from Leipzig, on a plant hunting expedition in Chile.

Design notes: A single stem of Amaryllis alone in a vase is a common design for this very large flower. Amaryllis are also beautiful in vegetative and botanical designs.

Purchasing hints: Purchase with several tight buds showing color and just beginning to open.

Conditioning: Cut stem ends with as sharp knife. Hydrate in water mixed with commercial floral food for two hours before storage or usage.

Additional notes: Storage of the Amaryllis at temperatures colder than 40 degrees Fahrenheit can result in discoloration of the buds and petals. Handle carefully as the blooms bruise easily. Allow room in the storage bucket for the blossoms to open without bruising. The stem ends have a tendency to split and curl outward when standing in water. This does not affect the life of the flower. To prevent the splitting and curling, wrap a strip of clear waterproof tape around the end of the stem.