GBBD: Jersey Lilies and Latin Shenanigans
I couldn't return from holiday and not tell you about Jersey lilies for this month's Blooms Day. They were everywhere on the island, in virtually every garden and hedgerow. When I saw the hand-picked welcome from our cottage owner's garden, I suddenly remembered their common name. How appropriate to find them in profusion on their namesake island, even though they really hail from South Africa.
Samares Manor with their bulbs exposed for everyone to see, I wonder if I've buried them too deeply.
They're rated as H3 hardiness, which is borderline for their survival in my garden. They're more suited to the gentler climate Jersey has to offer, though mine haven't been killed off yet. That's encouraging, so I'll try some winter protection first before I think about replanting them.
Are you having a re-think about the plants in your garden?
Garden Bloggers Blooms Day is hosted by Carol at May Dreams Garden.
Latin with or without tears (you can choose which one you prefer this month)
The Latin name for the Jersey lily is Amaryllis belladonna. Amaryllis is named after a shepherdess from Greek mythology, Amarysso. It also means 'to sparkle' and I thought the flowers did indeed do that in Jersey without knowing the name's meaning beforehand. Belladonna is 'beautiful lady' in Italian, thus adding to the apt description hidden in this bulb's Latin name.
Those of you considering buying your Hippeastrum bulbs ready for that event in December beginning with C*, may find them confusingly called Amaryllis in the shops. This harks back to a huge horticultural argument over Linnaeus's original naming. He'd put together the South African bulb plus another hailing from South America into the same genus, which were subsequently separated into two genera.
The naming debate raged on for nearly 50 years, and was finally resolved in 1987, with today's Blooms Day plant keeping the genus name. However, Hippeastrum is still referred by many as amaryillis (its common name). It seems our difficulty with Latin names is nothing new, particularly when the Latin genus name also becomes the common one**.
* = shhhh, I try not to mention the C-word until its proper time in December. We have Hallowe'en and bonfire night to get through yet.
** = I'm keeping quiet about my ongoing difficulties with Dicentra/Lamprocapnos and Aster/Symphyotrichum at this point, though you may like to sympathise along with me on this recent tweet from Rosemary Hardy.
Here are some lovely