swordwhale attempts gardening: the onion lives

My Hungarian friend who I worked with once presented me with a small pot with a very large and mysterious plant bulb in it. It had been given to her, but she had no place to grow it, whatever it was. She dubbed it “the onion” because it looked like a large and mutant onion.

I had no idea either, so I put it in a larger pot and…


In the pot it is easily four feet high.

Turns out to be an amaryllis, although technically, it is probably a … uh… this thing…

Hippeastrum is a genus in the familyAmaryllidaceae (subfamilyAmaryllidoideae, tribeHippeastreae, and subtribeHippeastrineae)[18] The name Hippeastrum, given to it by William Herbert, means “Knight’s-star-lily”, although precisely what Herbert meant by the name is not certain. For many years there was confusion among botanists over the generic names Amaryllis and Hippeastrum, one result of which is that the common name “amaryllis” is mainly used for cultivars of this genus, often sold as indoor flowering bulbs particularly at Christmas in the northern hemisphere. By contrast the generic name Amaryllis applies to bulbs from South Africa, usually grown outdoors. The genus is native to tropical and subtropical regions of the Americas from Argentina north to Mexico and the Caribbean.

I wheel the pot in each fall and back out in spring, using a handtruck. I am no gardener but It Does Not Die.



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