"Many years ago,...when I distinguished this genus,... I retained for it the name Amaryllis, and proposed that of Coburghia for Belladonna and Blanda. I was not then aware that Linnaeus had given the name Amaryllis to Belladonna, with a playful reason assigned; but as soon as I learned it, I felt, ... that the jeu d'esprit of a distinguished man ought not to be superceded, and that and that no continental botanist would submit to the change. I therefore restored the name Amaryllis to Belladonna, and gave that of Hippeastrum or Equestrian star to this genus, following up the idea of Linnaeus when he named one of the original species equestre."
"Are we wrong in continuing to call these grand flowers after the name of the Virgilian nymph, and should we therefore drop the pleasing appellative with which they have been almost indissolubly connected from our earliest memory, and substitute the rougher Hippeastrum for the softer Amaryllis?'
In regard to plants, no one has treated this subject with more spirit and ability than W. Herbert, Dean of Manchester, evidently the result of his great horticultural knowledge.
Greek mythology tells the story of Amaryllis, who was a lovestruck shepherdess.
She met a handsome shepherd on the mountainside. His name was Alteo and she fell in love with him. But, the problem was that Alteo had a heart only for flowers. Oh, to be one of his beloved blossoms!
Amaryllis went to the Oracle at Delphi who gave her a Golden arrow. The Oracle told Amaryllis that each night she must dress all in white and stand outside Alteo's house. Then she must pierce her own heart with the Golden arrow and knock on Alteo's door. For 29 nights, Alteo slept soundly, never hearing Amaryllis cry out; never hearing her knock at his door.
But, on the 30th night, Alteo awoke to her cry, and when she knocked on his door, he opened it. There, Amaryllis stood in her white gown. Her heart was fully healed and on the ground, wherever her blood has been shed, were the most magnificent scarlet flowers Alteo had ever seen. Alteo knelt before her and pledged his undying love to Amaryllis. Now, every holiday season, we watch the Amaryllis bloom and we are reminded of the wonder and the power of love; which is the strongest power of all - stronger than even death.
Here's a little poem I wrote about the Amaryllis:
Amaryllis by Jennifer Ebeling
Amaryllis is so sweet and fair,
A name that's true; beyond compare.
Though Herbert made the genera split,
He picked a name we'd soon forget
So goche, it starts with hippeasst,
In the game of names, it comes in last
Rather follow like sheep where Linnaeus led,
Honoring a shepherdess who willing bled
For the love of a shepherd who saw her not,
But oh, Amaryllis, gardeners have not forgot.
Today, we say Alteo who?
But, at your name, we can construe
The bulb that blooms in winter's chill.
Amaryllis, you are with us still.
Today's book recommendation: Medieval Herbals by Minta Collins
Published in 2000, Minta's book the first book author Anna Pavord gives credit to for her work in The Naming of Names about the earliest work in plant taxonomy.
Medieval Herbals provides one of the few resources on the subject of the earliest ideas and books of herbs.
Minta explains how herbals became the backbone of knowledge for medical scholars. The books were expensive, difficult to obtain and often invaluable to historians, botanists, and the world of culture and art.
I, for one, love that someone named Minta wrote a book about herbs.
Hardcover versions of this book sell for over $300. However, the link in today's show notes, can get you to paperback copies on Amazon of this incredible resource for just over $30. That's a 90% savings.
Today's Garden Chore:
Address exposed tree roots with mulch instead of soil.
Depending on your type of soil, and the type of tree, tree roots can sometimes erupt on the surface of the soil. Many gardeners want to bury the Exposed roots; But, putting more than an inch to an inch and a half of soil on top of the exposed root can actually smother the tree. Placing a small layer of mulch on top of the exposed tree root is preferred. Mulch is lighter, has more air pockets, and when rained on creates an organic tea; adding nutrients back into the soil.
Reviving the little botanic spark in your heart
Thanks for listening to the daily gardener,
"For a happy, healthy life, garden every day."
Be Part of The Daily Gardener Community
- Join a community of like-minded gardeners
- Share your garden
- Learn from fellow DG listeners
- Make your newsfeed more worthwhile
The Daily Gardener Society
- On Patreon Website
- Access to bonus episodes
- Discounts + first dibs on show merch
- Get the Daily Gardener Ring Tone
- Help support the show
The Book Club
- Build that #GardenLibrary
- Strengthen your garden know-how
- Get inspired
- Monthly online video calls via Zoom
- Chat with the author
- Space is limited
What Listeners Say
KIND WORDS FROM LOVELY LISTENERS
"I just discovered you! I googled garden podcasts and I'm so glad I found the show. I start every day with The Daily Gardener!"
"I love gardening. I been gardening for over 40 years. A friend got me started on listening to gardening podcasts and yours just popped up. I am all the richer for it!"
"I've been a Still Growing podcast listener for years. I'm so excited to hear your new one - The Daily Gardener! Thank you."
SI HORTUM IN HORTORUM PODCASTUM IN BIBLIOTEHCA HABES, NIHIL DEERIT.