The name Amaryllis comes from Greek mythology. It was a name of a girl who won the heart of a shepherd-boy heart by creating a new and enchanting flower for him. Hippeastrum is the Latin name and means the Horseman's Star (Danish: Ridderstjerne). A dean of Manchester William Herbert chose the name in 1837 - maybe because the flower had a striking resemblance to the Morning Star, a medieval weapon used by horsemen.
Hippeastrum is a genus of many species and hybrids and native to tropical and subtropical regions like South America, Mexico and the Carribean. They are popularly known as Amaryllis. The first commercial breeders of hippeastra were Dutch growers who imported several species form Mexico and South America the 18th century. Today the beautiful flower is widespread and very popular. The colours vary from red, pink, peach and white flowers to two-coloured flowers like green-pink, red-white.
photo 2008: gb