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Products > Amaryllis belladonna 'Alba'
 
Amaryllis belladonna 'Alba' - White Naked Lady
   
Image of Amaryllis belladonna 'Alba'
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Bulb/Tuber/Rhizome etc.
Family: Amaryllidaceae (Onions)
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Flower Color: White
Bloomtime: Summer
Fragrant Flowers: Yes
Synonyms: [x Amargyia parkeri 'Alba'?]
Height: 2-3 feet
Width: 2-3 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 F
May be Poisonous  (More Info): Yes
Amaryllis belladonna 'Alba' (White Naked Lady) - A hardy bulb in mild-winter regions with long, dull-green leaves that emerge in fall and die back in late spring, forming foliage clumps to 18 inches tall by 3 feet across. Tall flower stalks appear in late summer with clusters of trumpet-shaped, fragrant white flowers, while the foliage is dormant. Will grow in nearly any soil type, as long as it drains well. Plant in full sun. Low water needs. These plants are grown from division of plants originally supplied by the late Jim Prine, a Santa Barbara gardener and friend to the nursery. The genus name Amaryllis comes from the Greek word 'amarysso' which means "to sparkle". In Greek mythology, Amaryllis was a shepherdess and singer and it is thought that she was the inspiration for the name of the plant with its beautiful pink flowers. The specific epithet belladonna is derived from the Italian bella donna, which means beautiful lady. Typically called Naked Lady in the U.S. because the flowering occurs when the foliage is not present but other common names include Jersey Lily, Belladonna-lily and March lily in the southern hemisphere. The British tend to call it Jersey Lily because of a famous painting title "A Jersey Lily" that show the English actress, Lily Langtry (1853-1929) holding the flower. The title was in reference to Langtry being from the island of Jersey but many took it as the name of the flower and so it became widely known as the "Jersey Lily". It is thought that the Portuguese probably brought the amaryllis bulb from South Africa to Europe as early as the 16th century. There is considerable confusion as to whether the plant that has been in cultivation in California is actually the true Amaryllis belladonna or if early hybrids from the 19th century between Amaryllis belladonna and Brunsvigia josephinae, a bi-generic hybrid called x Amargyia parkeri, that was more vigorous and had more flowers that we held in a rounded head, replaced the species as the dominant plant. Certainly the plants we have grown as Amaryllis belladonna hybrids were the result of later such hybridization but some claim that all of the Naked Ladies currently grown share this parentage. While this argument continues and remains unresolved we will continue to list this common garden plants as Amaryllis belladonna.  The information on this page is based on research conducted about this plant in our library and from reliable online sources. We also take into consideration observations of this plant in our nursery crops, as well as of plants growing in the nursery's garden and those in other gardens we visit. We also will incorporate comments that we receive from others and welcome getting feedback from anyone who may have additional information, particularly if it includes cultural information that would aid others in growing Amaryllis belladonna 'Alba'.
 
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