Sunday, December 29, 2013


It's time for Hippeastrum papilio, the butterfly amarylllis, to bloom. 'La Paz' has already faded, in typical amaryllis fashion lasting about a week, short enough that I wonder why I make the effort at all. But then the next one blooms and all is forgiven. H. papilio will not last any longer, but it produces more than one stalk which will bloom later. It would make a bigger splash if they both bloomed at the same time, but I appreciate the longer bloom time. It has a lot of offsets, but I haven't get gotten them to bloom. I'm certain that they are slow to grow because of the tough windy weather that we had that tore off leaves, and also because of my stinginess with fertilizer. I intentionally held back on nitrogen so that the leaves wouldn't be as long and as prone to damage (not that it did any good). H. papilio is green, with red brush strokes, and if photos on the web are reliable, usually has 2 flowers per stem. Mine usually has 3 blooms on its first stalk so the web may be inaccurate. The flowers are laterally compressed, like a butterfly opening its wings, not like the trumpet shape that most hybrid amaryllis have. 

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