AMARYLLIS

P. Amaryllis belladonna, often known as the belladonna lily, is a very beautiful, nearly hardy, bulbous plant for the foot of a south wall or a greenhouse facing south. The nodding, fragrant, trumpet-shaped pink flowers are borne several together on large umbels round the top of the leafless 2 ft. stems in September. The foliage does not appear until late winter or early spring.

This plant requires very careful soil preparation, but is well worth the trouble. Plant in June or July about 6 in. deep and 10 in. apart, incorporating plenty of humus-forming material such as compost, peat or hop manure. The bulbs should be surrounded with sand to encourage sound drainage. Leaves, bracken or old Michaelmas daisy tops may be used to protect the bulbs in winter, although deep planting should keep out all but the most severe weather.

Amaryllis belladonna resents disturbance but may be increased by separating the offsets in July (it should not be disturbed for at least 5 years). There are several varieties including a white form, a deep rosy-red known as Capetown, and Johannesburg, light rose-pink which produces up to 15 flowers on a stem. See HIPPEASTRUM for other kinds formerly included under amaryllis.

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