Amaryllis, the name of a genus, as well as a family, of lilylike plants that are mostly native to tropical regions. Most plants in the amaryllis family are herbacious; some are woody. The genus Amaryllis consists of only one species, the belladonna lily. However, the name amaryllis is commonly applied also to a number of plants belonging to related genera.Amaryllis is a flowering bulbous herb with red, white, or pink blossoms.
The belladonna lily has 3 1/2-inch (9-cm) flowers growing in dense clusters at the end of long stalks that are often 18 inches (46 cm) tall. There are many varieties of this plant, which bear flowers ranging in color from white through shades of red to purple. Propagation is by bulbs.
The amaryllis family is made up of about 65 genera. Many members of this family, including daffodils and crinums, are cultivated as ornamentals; some, such as narcissuses and jonquils, are a source of aromatic oils, used in perfumes and soaps.
The belladonna lily is Amaryllis belladonna. Plants of the following genera are commonly called amaryllis: Crinum, Hippeastrum, Brunsvigia, Sprekelia, Lycoris, and Vallota. All belong to the amaryllis family, Amaryllidaceae.