In a Vase on Monday: What’s in a Name?

As Juliet so famously declared in Shakespeare’s well-known play:

“What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet…”

Yes, we all (well, most of us) call our Amaryllis by the wrong name. Strictly speaking the bulbs we in cooler climates grow indoors in winter are Hippeastrums; the South American lily. And not Amaryllis, which is the African belladonna lily.


Hippeastrum hybrid “dunkelrot”

But I don’t think we should care too much about this error. As Celia Fisher writes in ‘The Golden Age of Flowers’,

‘When European hybrids were developed the original confusion about provenance intensified, while ordinary plant lovers blithely regard them all as amaryllis.’


Monday 11am, -9ยฐC

I consider myself an ‘ordinary plant lover’. How about you?


Thank you to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting this lovely meme. Why not visit her to see what others are finding for their Monday vases/flower arrangements this week.


50 thoughts on “In a Vase on Monday: What’s in a Name?

  1. Oh yes, the shorter stem is a big improvement! And I knew the ‘rot’ referred to red, so googled the name – dark red? Thanks for sharing, along with your snowy background ps hurrah for ordinary gardeners!

  2. Yes, I’m an ordinary plant lover too if such a thing as an ordinary plant exists at all. Such fierce, hot colour against such a cool background, great way to shoot it and the flames keep us warm. I wonder how much we’ll loose through the cold? Have a good week, Cathy xx

    • I am a bit worried about the Euonymus and Laurel – they both hate permafrost and the ground has been frozen almost continuously since the beginning of December. The Rhododendron has curled its leaves up tight against the cold! And the Gaura…. oh dear. Perhaps we will be lucky and there won’t be too many losses!

  3. I’m with you, I’m an ordinary plant lover as well. Love the photo of your Amaryllis with the background of snow. It shows why so many people enjoy its colorful bloom during the winter.

  4. Oh my goodness! The color is stunning! Count me as an “ordinary”, all these fancy names are not anything that holds my attention!

  5. What a gorgeous one and so nice and short! It looks great in its red pot. I didn’t even bother with the Latin in my post, as everyone calls them by the common name anyway. That is mighty cold for that plant – I hope it was a quick take! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Very quick! The cold is beginning to get to us… even the canal in our valley is freezing over. Glad I have some colour indoors to look at anyway!

    • Don’t worry Brian, it was a very brief venture outside! But the daytime temperatures have been so bitter cold for ages now, so we just have to wrap up warm and carry on! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. The red Amaryllis is quite stunning against its snowy surround, Cathy! My own Hippeastrums, planted in the (now sodden) ground, are probably months away from blooming but I enjoy seeing yours in the meantime. BTW, I love the ice crystals balanced on the delicate grass plume in your header too.

    • That must be lovely to watch them emerging from the ground outdoors Kris. I will plant this one up again in spring and feed it, and then see if it flowers for me again outside. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. [J+D] Very ordinary, both of us. We’re certainly no connoisseurs. We’ll never be able to plan and entire bed – and would never attempt to. For indoors, our window-cills get filled by chance. But at least there’s always something new to discover. Or re-discover! That’s why we follow Words and Herbs and other plant and gardening blogs. We like others’ enthusiasms, we like their ideas – for their own sake, and because they inspire us to try something new. We’ve never had an Ameryllis, but it appears that if we had it might not have suited our conditions: we might now look out for an Hippeastrum!!

  8. “Would smell as sweet” – and be as beautiful, too! Your Dunkelrot is a stunner ๐Ÿ™‚ and perfect against winter white. I have so enjoyed the brilliant colors from Amaryllis as the desert background actually whites out the garden similarly to snow…

  9. Oh no, I’ m a pedant when it comes to plant names. If plant lovers can’ t get them right then who can? But whatever you call it, your hippeastrum is lovely and so dramatic against the snow.And I like the way it blooms on a shorter stem than some.

    • I suppose you are right, but speaking the same language as fellow gardeners is also important! ๐Ÿ˜‰ The shorter stem really is an advantage on this one, as the flowers are very large.

  10. By any name you certainly have a beauty! You are so knowledgeable about the different flowers, Cathy. I am impressed with what you know and I’m so glad you share it! ๐Ÿ™‚

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