Amaryllis & Dierama Pulcherrima Flowers

amarylis2Merry Christmas Everyone!

The day is just about over and everyone here is done opening their presents and are spending a few quiet moments on our own. Oddly enough, that means sleeping together on my bed for the cats or surfing the web for us humans. I had started working on this flower image for you a few days ago, but the frenzy of last minute gift wrapping and project finishing forced it to wait until today.

Along with poinsettias, every Christmas our family would have one or more amaryllis plants. The large red, pink and white flowers have been a part of our Christmas holidays for as long as I can remember.

Do you remember why the amaryllis is associated with Christmas? I admit that I forgotten, like so many other things I remember having heard before but can’t seem to actually remember. It is said that when St. Joseph was selected to be the spouse of the Virgin Mary, his staff burst into bloom with beautiful amaryllis flowers.

In Portuguese, the word amaryllis translates to “St. Joseph’s Staff.” In Italy, they call these flowers the Madonna lily. The variety shown in this vintage book plate image is identified as a Beladonna Lily.

The second flower included in this plate is the dierama. While the amaryllis is generally bred to bloom in winter, the dierama pulcherrima is a South African plant that generally blooms in summertime.

I love how through an artist rendering we can enjoy two beautiful flowers at the same time that we would not often seem in bloom together. For centuries, botanists and the artists that work with them provide us beautiful colored illustrations of flowers like these. In this case, the artist was Mrs. Philip Hensley. I was unable to find more information about her. If you know of her and her work, please do let me know.

I hope everyone has had a wonderful Christmas and I look forward to the start of another year of sharing with you so many wonderful vintage images.

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