Amaryllis belladonna

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Amaryllis belladonna
Amaryllis belladonna.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Amaryllidoideae
Genus: Amaryllis
A. belladonna
Binomial name
Amaryllis belladonna

Amaryllis belladonna,[2] (Jersey lily,[3] belladonna-lily, naked-lady-lily,[4] March lily[5]) is a plant species native to Cape Province in South Africa but widely cultivated as an ornamental. It is reportedly naturalized in many places: Corsica, Portugal, the Azores, Madeira, the Canary Islands, Zaire, Ascension Island, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Chile, California, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and the Juan Fernández Islands.[6][7]


Perennial bulbous geophyte with one to two erect solid stems which appear in late summer. The inflorescence bears 2–12 showy fragrant funnel-shaped flowers on a 'naked' (leafless) stem, which gives it the common name of naked-lady-lily. The pink flowers which may be up to 10 cm in length, appear in the autumn before the leaves (hysteranthy) which are narrow and strap shaped.[4][5]

Taxonomy and etymology[edit]

Amaryllis belladonna is one of the two species in the genus Amaryllis as currently circumscribed.[8]

Belladonna is a Latin epithet meaning beautiful lady. There are many common names around the world, for instance in the Azores, Portugal one name is Meninas Para Escola (girls going to school) referring to the flowers blooming when the girls in their pink uniforms are starting the new school year.[5]


A. belladonna in California

In South Africa the plants are found growing among rocks.[5]


The bulbs are best planted just below the surface of the soil, with the neck of the bulb level with the surface. In colder climates mulching or lifting and overwintering is required. The bulbs may be propagated from offsets. Amaryllis bulbs require little watering and are drought tolerant.[4][5]


  1. ^ Amaryllis belladonna, The Plant List
  2. ^ Linnaeus, Carl (1753). Species Plantarum. 1. p. 293 – via Biodiversity Heritage Library.
  3. ^ "BSBI List 2007". Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (xls) on 25 January 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  4. ^ a b c RHS 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d e Phipps 2011.
  6. ^ "Amaryllis belladonna". Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.
  7. ^ "Amaryllis Belladona distribution map". Biota of North America Project.
  8. ^ "Search for Amaryllis". World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 1 February 2015.