To you or I, a beautiful blooming amaryllis might be nothing more than a particularly great way to add some pizazz to a bouquet. It’s bold formation involves an outer layer of voluptious sepals and a dainty cluster of inner petals - they’re often white as snow save for the pretty crimson veins running through them.
If, however, you were a member of the intense world of botany between, I don’t know… the mid 1700s right up to 1987 then the amaryllis is likely a little more than that. The taxonomy of its genus (ie whether amaryllis was the correct name) caused vigorous debate for literal centuries. Even the guy who composed the amaryllis Wikipedia page struggles to maintain the neutrality expected of such a resource when he describes it as no less than ‘controversial’ (!). Put briefly, it involved a whole lot of huffing and puffing over South American and South African origins that even I, as a fully-fledged depart-er of FOTW knowledge, don’t really understand. Anyway, we can all relax because the matter was finally put to bed when the 14th International Botanical Congress settled on ‘amaryllis’ once and for all in 1987 - ensuring that would be a year that goes down in history not only for the cinema release of Predator and the birth of yours truly.
So now we’re free to celebrate the vibrant delights of the amaryllis, free from fear of reprisal at the hands of rogue botanists making a break from the mainstream! Given its lengthy trials and tribulations it is perhaps fitting that the amaryllis (which is derived from the Greek for ‘sparkling’) has come to symbolise not only radiant beauty but also determination.