A favorite for winter is the hardy bulb flower, Amaryllis. You can find these at most florists and garden centers. Plant it, keep it watered and enjoy. It is amazing how quickly the lifeless ball sprouts a bit of green, shoots up the long stem and suddenly explodes into a vivid ball of color. For those of us a bit more impatient, cut amaryllis blooms available at your florist will quickly bring an explosion of color into the home.
A true amaryllis is a South African flower. It blooms in early spring in colors of soft pink and white. The commercially available flower we commonly find noted as an amaryllis is actually a hippeastrum. The hippeastrum is a flower variety within the amaryllis family. These blooms are the result of complicated crossing and selection for bloom size, color, form and lasting qualities. To determine if the bloom you are looking at is the true amaryllis or the sibling, hippeastrum, check the stem. Amaryllis have a solid stem, hippeastrum has a hollow stem. Next time you are shopping, take a look. The flowers you see sold as amaryllis are surely hippeastrum.
As you prepare for all your personal winter celebrations, be sure to include the glorious amaryllis or hippeastrum. The bulb holds such promise, the flower such happiness. What better flower to symbolize my wish for you, a life filled with both promise and happiness.