The amaryllis is a traditional Christmas gift. Its elegant flowers are large, bell-shaped blooms that are generally red, pink, white or a combination of these colors, and native to South Africa. According to legend, the amaryllis was once a nymph who sought the affections of a shepherd named Alteo. When Amaryllis discovered that he longed to possess the perfect flower, she pierced herself through the heart, turning into the beautiful red amaryllis of Alteo's dreams. Today's amaryllis flowers are easy to find, especially online.
Among the wide array of amaryllis gifts at Jackson and Perkins is the 3-in-1 Papilio Amaryllis, which is native to Brazil. Each stalk produces between 4 to 6 large, pinstriped flowers measuring about 6-inches wide. The Papilio Amaryllis takes between 2 and 4 weeks longer to bloom than other amaryllis flowers, but they are in great demand for their striking beauty. The Grand Trumpet 3-in-1 Snowkisses Amaryllis is also spectacular, with its ruffled white petals and bright red outline along the petal edges. Each bulb produces up to 20 blooms. For something more understated, consider the Single Red Amaryllis, which comes in a matching, red handwoven basket and includes reblooming instructions. Jackson and Perkins also sells amaryllis stakes to support the heavy, bell-shaped flowers.
White Flower Farm offers over 45 varieties of amaryllis bulbs, most of which have 2 stems that bear 4 blooms, each up to 7-inches wide. According to the website, this is the top size of flower commercially available. White Flower Farm provides a wide selection of gift options, from a single bulb to packages that include vases, cachepots, baskets and river pebbles. Stargazer features beautiful red amaryllis blooms with white star patterns at their center. There is also the White Nymph variety, and Amaryllis Summertime with its hot pink flowers. Also worthy of consideration is Naranja, which has bright orange flowers. Additionally, there is an amaryllis to particularly please environmentalists: the Evergreen which, as its name suggests, is green in color.
The Amaryllis Bulb Co., sells "the finest Amaryllis bulbs Holland has to offer." Among them is a selection of 12 large flowering amaryllis in solid colors and stripes, each with bulbs of 2 to 3 stems and 4 to 6 flowers per stem. The company's potted flowering bulbs are also a great gift option. Each pot contains a large flowering bulb, which is primed to bloom when it arrives at its destination, and with the addition of water. There is also the double amaryllis, which is essentially a "flower within a flower." Varieties include the bright red and orange Ragtime, and Lady Jane, which has apricot-colored blooms brushed with white. The company also advertises rare amaryllis, which are rare bulbs in limited quantities. Rare amaryllis include Lemon-Lime, a soft yellow-green dwarf whose single bulb yields about 12 flowers,