What Do Red Amaryllis Flowers Symbolize?

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What Do Red Amaryllis Flowers Symbolize?
Show your love with an amaryllis. (Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Amaryllis plants call to mind cosy holiday gatherings, but they carry a deeper significance.

Red amaryllis flowers symbolise the qualities of a legendary nymph who fell in love with a disdainful shepherd. She sacrificed her life to create this plant and give him the gift he most desired. Planted at Thanksgiving, bulbs produce trumpet-shaped bright scarlet-red blooms to enhance the winter decor at Christmas time.

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Red amaryllis plants symbolise "splendid beauty." The shepherd adored by Amaryllis was reputed to be as handsome as Apollo. In Victorian times, these blooms were common gifts from a lover to the woman he admired. Like a beautiful woman, the beauty of graceful showy flowers from amaryllis plants bring joy to the beholders. The plant's splash of scarlet is welcome in the dark, deep winter months, making superb ornamental centrepieces for festive tables. According to Martha Stewart, amaryllis is a suitable plant for including in wedding decorations, because it, "celebrates its life's journey from bulb to bloom."

Everlasting Love

Red amaryllis plants are also associated with eternal and determined love that overcomes all obstacles. As soon as the nymph, Amaryllis, decided on a course of action to gain her beloved's attention, she did not waver. After a vigil of 30 nights outside his door, she exchanged her life for this flower. Her unswerving and unselfish love is forever immortalised in this flower. Amaryllis flowers or plants are suitable gifts for recognising, celebrating and marking achievements, such as the completion of a book, painting or other artistic endeavour.

Pride in Love

The kind of pride represented by the amaryllis is not one of the seven deadly sins. Instead, it's the pride of new parents delighting in their baby and the elation felt by a committed teacher upon seeing his student's great accomplishments. Love causes people to sacrifice their happiness for the pleasure of another, just as Amaryllis gave up her life to grant the shepherd's wish. At Christmas time, when the red amaryllis blooms, Christians express their pride in love at a festival celebrating the birth of Jesus, one of the most famous examples of selfless love.


Amaryllis shyly waited outside her beloved's door for 30 nights, rather than boldly knock upon it. Her lack of experience in matters of love was represented by the white virginal gown she wore during those long night vigils. Red amaryllis flowers are associated with the qualities of shyness and timidity. This makes them ideal carriers of messages of love from secret admirers lacking the self-confidence to present these flowers directly to the objects of their admiration.

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