Just in time to bring some colour into a painfully cold and white world, the amaryllis ‘Rio Negro’ bulb that I potted up in late November is now in full bloom.
More photos after the jump….
As predicted, it reminds me of the Butterfly amaryllis aka Hippeastrum papillio. It presents the same thin red veining and a shaded green interior, but with thinner, more graceful petals. The stem is dark, while the butterfly stem is plain old green. The filaments and style are red, another unusual trait that I think puts it miles ahead of the butterfly. It’s now sold out at Garden Import, but if you’re looking for something amaryllis-like to try this spring, I suggest Hymenocallis ‘Sulphur Queen.’ I found it no more difficult to grow in a pot than amaryllis. The sizing and form is very similar and it comes with the added bonus of a wonderful, sweet fragrance, while every amaryllis I have grown has been virtually scentless. You can see the ‘Sulphur Queen’ I grew over here.
In case you’re wondering, of the two other new amaryllis varieties I planted, ‘Grafitti’ bloomed first. Unfortunately, I didn’t get good shots, but it has produced a new set of flower stems so hopefully I’ll catch it on the second flush. ‘Zombie’, that gorgeously ethereal, double pink flower is biding its time — a flower bud is set, but it hasn’t opened yet. I do appreciate that they are staggering their blooms. It gives me something to look forward to!