Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Hardy Amaryllis, St. Joseph's Lily


Spring Flowering Amaryllis


Hardy Amaryllis, Joseph's Lily (Hippeastrum johnsonii)
April Bloom in Texas

These Amaryllis were grown in Louisiana, brought to Texas, and are over fifty years old. From my research the Hippeastrum originated in South America. Around 1750, John Johnson, a clockmaker living in Prescot, England took the  bulbs and experimented with crossing H. reginae and H. vittatum producing Hippeastrum johnsonii.
Height: 22-26"
Exposure: Full sun to light shade outdoors
Hardiness: Zones 8-10

The lily is associated with St. Joseph, spouse of Mary, through an ancient legend that he was so chosen from among other men by the blossoming of his staff like a lily. St. Joseph's Day is March 19.  In religious art the lily is used as an emblem of St. Joseph, and similarly in religious flower symbolism the names "St. Joseph's Staff" and "St. Joseph's Lily" have been applied to a number of flowers.
Joseph, The carpenter of Nazareth, is also venerated as the patron of all workmen, with feastday on May 1st, and thus as the patron of all who work for the building of God's Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.
                                                                                             "The just man shall blossom like the lily"

Futher Reading
Hippeastrum : The Gardener's Amaryllis, Portland : Timber Press, 2004.
New Wave Hippies an Extract from Hippeastrum, The Gardener's Amaryllis

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