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There’s no denying that the second month of the year can be cold and gloomy here in my little corner of northeastern Pennsylvania. Regular readers of my blog know I like to brighten it by growing amaryllises. This year, I had three (and a half) bloom in February.

First came ‘Lemon Sorbet’. Fellow blogger and good friend Sorta Suburbia kindly gave me three bulbs of this cultivar last fall, and all three, obviously raised with pretty manners, gave me flowers! One of the bulbs even sent up two flower stalks!

Amaryllis ‘Lemon Sorbet’, about to bloom in the early morning sun

As one would guess by its name, ‘Lemon Sorbet’ sports a delicate, creamy yellow hue, with an apple-green throat and white style and stigma.

This is a Christmas blooming (if you get it started at the right time, lol!) Sonatini variety. My reading tells me that “Christmas blooming” simply means the bulb came from the southern hemisphere (most likely South Africa) and that when new, it should bloom about four to six weeks from planting. “Sonatini” refers to the size of the flowers, and is the smallest classification. Sonatini amaryllises are sometimes called miniature. In my house, ‘Lemon Sorbet’ took nearly eight weeks to bloom, produced flowers that averaged four inches wide, and grew quite tall–twenty to twenty-four inches, as opposed to its advertised height of just thirteen inches.

Cybister amaryllis ‘La Paz’ opened shortly after ‘Lemon Sorbet’. This is the second consecutive year this bulb has bloomed for me. Cybister amaryllises originated in South America, but Scheepers (my favorite vendor) sells Dutch cultivated bulbs. Information I’ve found on the Cybisters is conflicting; some say it can be kept as a normal houseplant and will flower at will, while others say to treat it the same as a regular amaryllis, growing the foliage until late summer and letting it go dormant for several weeks before bringing to bloom again. I let this one go dormant last fall, but I think I’ll try keeping it green all year round this year. Cybisters can take a long time to bloom, –this one took over ten weeks!

‘La Paz’ has narrow, red-with-a-hint-of-orange petals, some of which feature stripes of cream and green. The flowers are about five inches across and four inches long. The thirty inch (!) stalk grew four flowers. There’s no sign of a second stalk.

Meanwhile, ‘Blushing Bride’s‘ second bloom stalk (that’s the “half” I mentioned in my opening paragraph) began opening, ultimately producing five large flowers on a twelve inch stem. All three together created quite an impressive scene, spurring my usually non-demonstrative sister-in-law to burst out, “Oh! I want that!”

‘La Paz’ (top left), ‘Lemon Sorbet’ (right), ‘Blushing Bride’ (lower left)
The second stalk of ‘Lemon Sorbet’ complemented ‘Blushing Bride nicely

‘Belladonna’, another Christmas blooming Sonatini, opened a week ago. I have four ‘Belladonna’ bulbs; two purchased by me in 2020, and other two also hand-me-downs from Sorta. Just one of these bulbs deigned bloom this year, and, having planted all four in one pot, I have no idea whose! The other three are growing a gorgeous crop of leaves.

A fine crop of foliage to feed the bulbs for next year
A later stalk of ‘Lemon Sorbet’ complemented ‘Belladonna’ well, too!

‘Belladonna’s’ apricot flowers, and there are four of them, are three and a half inches wide on top of a sixteen inch stem. She took just over four weeks to bloom.

‘Belladonna’ today, one week after the first flower opened

So there’s the roundup for February. I’m still waiting for the final stalk of ‘Lemon Sorbet’ to bloom, and two or three others should come along in March. Just yesterday, I planted two brand new bulbs that I hope will bloom in mid-April, for Easter. Fingers crossed!

Final stalk of ‘Lemon Sorbet’
March’s coming attraction!