The Medieval Amaryllis


This month’s illustration is a spectacular winter bulb grown indoors for the holidays and winter. As beautiful as these blooms are, when reading up on them, I found the origin of its genus name (hippeastrum) even more interesting. The naming is not definitive, but it’s believed to be named hippeastrum (Greek for “horseman’s star”) because of its resemblance to the morning star, a medieval weapon used by horsemen. The morning star is a club with a long spike at the top surrounded by several smaller spikes. Yikes!

And on that note Happy Holiday folks! I’ll see you all in 2011.

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  1. Wow, that's fascinating. I wouldn't want to be attacked by one of those.

  2. Beautiful illustration. Happy Holidays to you as well.

    Thoughts in Progress

  3. Like Mason said, it is a beautiful illustration. Have a healing, beautiful Christmas week, Roland

  4. One of my favourite flowers. And I recently read a blog post about the significance of the flower in mythology.

    Beautiful illustration.

  5. Gorgeous flower! Have a great holiday.

  6. Too bad such a beautiful flower's name originates in the ugliness of war and death. I love them — they bloom like crazy all year long, provided they get lots of sun. I just learned this month that having an amaryllis in the house so that it blooms at Christmas is a Swedish tradition.

  7. oooh that is an awesome fact to have learned. WIN!

  8. Gorgeous flower and what an interesting story! Happy Holidays to you and yours!

  9. I've never heard of a horseman's star, but I wouldn't want to be on the end of it!

  10. It seems the Greek warriors turned a thing of beauty into a weapon of destruction. Men, can't live with em' so…I will not finish but allow you to insert whatever you desire.
    N. R. Williams, fantasy author

  11. Very cool!

    Have a wondeful Christmas – enjoy!! 🙂

  12. Kind of sad that such a lovely thing inspired a weapon. But I love little bits of historical trivia like that.

    Thanks for all the comments on my blog. Merry Christmas!

  13. A-ha! Sounds like a deadly kind of flower, with a lovely kind of name. Amaryllis. Agree with Anne's point! See you in the New Year!

  14. Alex J. Cavanaugh said…
    I think I'd rather someone beat me with the flower!
    Merry Christmas.

  15. Joanne said…
    Christmas is blooming here! Merry Christmas, wishing you a wonderful New Year too 🙂

  16. Carol Kilgore said…
    I love amaryllis, especially the deep red ones. They grow outside here. I had no clue the name came from a weapon. I love learning things like that.

    Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
    December 23, 2010 8:37 AM

  17. Hilary Melton-Butcher said…
    Hi .. love the photo .. and the description .. so interesting learning where things come from ..

    Have a great Christmas and New Year – Hilary

  18. Hart Johnson said…
    It's really gorgeous! You are so talented.

    I really wish you and yours a very merry Christmas!

  19. Sandra said…
    Happy new year! And if I could grow anything green, that flower would be on top of my list!

  20. Loni Edwards said…
    This is just gorgeous! Happy 2011! 🙂

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