Symbolism of the Amaryllis

Overview

The amaryllis is a large flower that is shaped like lilies or bells. It is a monotypic genus and are also commonly known as naked ladies or the belladonna lily. The amaryllis is a bulbous plant that has green leaves that are shaped similarly to straps and six tepals. The flowers tend to be white with red veins. Some also appear in purple and pink. There is some symbolism attached to the amaryllis flower.

Greek Mythology

In Greek mythology, it is believed that the flower was a quiet and shy nymph that fell in love with a shepherd, Alteo. Alteo had the physical beauty of Apollo and the power of Hercules, and did not return Amaryllis' affection. Amaryllis tried to win the love of Alteo by offering him the most unusual flower on earth. She sought counsel from Delphi, and showed up at Alteo's door for 30 nights dressed in white. Every night, Amaryllis would use a golden arrow to pierce her heart. When Alteo finally opened the door, he saw a vibrant red flower that arose from the blood that poured out of Amaryllis' heart. This tale gave the Amaryllis the meaning of determination, pride and dazzling beauty.

Victorian England

In Victorian England, the amaryllis symbolized intense pride and beauty due to its height. An amaryllis in full bloom has often been likened to an attractive and stylish dressed lady.

Success

The amaryllis is often thought to symbolize success that is achieved after a hard battle and struggle. Amaryllises are often given to individuals for purposes of recognition, whether for the arts, writing or scholarship.

Inner Beauty

Although the amaryllis is known for symbolizing radiant beauty and elegance, it is also a symbol for worth that goes beyond physical beauty, such as the beauty that comes from the inside.

Female Name

Amaryllis is also a female name that is used in English-speaking nations, as well as Greece. The name also translates to mean sparkling and fresh. It is also a poetic name for a country girl or a simple shepherdess.

Keywords: amaryllis, amaryllis flower, amaryllis symbolism

About this Author

Isabel Prontes is a freelance writer and traveler residing in Manhattan, NY. She has traveled to five continents and counting. Her work has appeared on a number of websites, such as Travels, eHow.com and "Happy Living Magazine." Prontes has a professional background in public relations; she received a bachelor's degree in communication studies from Pace University.