Untouched colour/color photograph by J. McCombie.
The Single Amaryllis (Hippeastrum ) ‘Black Pearl’, has stunning, velvety dark maroon flowers. Holland’s finest strain produces more huge flowers per bulb than any other strain. The spectacular breath-taking beauty of the brilliant colors must be seen to be believed. Blooms over 8 inches across. Large size bulbs should produce two huge stems each with 4-5 giant flowers per stem. Best grown indoors because they are not cold hardy. “Black Pearl” stands out in a crowd with its velvety soft texture and beautiful deep color.
The solid-color flowers will make a striking holiday centerpiece.
Hippeastrum is a genus of about 90 species and 600+ hybrids and cultivars of bulbous plants in the family Amaryllidaceae, subfamily Amaryllidoideae, native to tropical and subtropical regions of the Americas from Argentina north to Mexico and the Caribbean. Some species are grown for their large showy flowers. For many years there was confusion amongst botanists over the generic names Amaryllis and Hippeastrum, one result of which is that the common name “amaryllis” is mainly used for cultivars of this genus, which are widely used as indoor flowering bulbs. The generic name Amaryllis applies to bulbs from South Africa, usually grown outdoors.
Most Hippeastrum bulbs are between 5–12 cm (2"–5") in diameter and produce two to seven long-lasting evergreen or deciduous leaves that are 30–90 cm (12"–36") long and 2.5–5 cm (1"–2") wide. The flower stem is erect, 30–75 cm (12"–30") tall, 2.5–5 cm (1"–2") in diameter and is hollow. Depending on the species, it bears two to fifteen large flowers, each of which is 13–20 cm (5"–8") across with six brightly colored tepals (three outer sepals and three inner petals) that may be similar in appearance or very different. Some species are epiphytic (H. calyptratum, H. aulicum, H. papilio and H. arboricola) and need good air circulation around their roots. Seedlings will flower in 3 to 5 years. Hippeastrum species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Hypercompe indecisa.
Although the 1987 decision settled the question of the scientific name of the genus, the common name “amaryllis” continues to be used differently. Bulbs sold as amaryllis and described as “ready to bloom for the holidays” belong to this genus (Hippeastrum). “Amaryllis” is also used in the name of societies devoted to the genus Hippeastrum. Different common names are used for the genus Amaryllis, e.g. “naked lady”.